Intel Readies 802.11g Support

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Intel's Centrino platform with 802.11g wireless LAN support will not be available for Christmas holiday sales, but this situation will not significantly impact Centrino notebooks sales, according to a company executive.

"We may have lost some sales because of this, but overall sales of the Centrino are still doing a lot better than we had forecast," Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group, told reporters Thursday in Bangalore, India.

"It is true that in the home environment the access points are moving to 802.11g, but in terms of the solutions they are adopting on the client, Centrino is doing okay, so I really can't argue that the lack of 802.11g has hurt us on the consumer front," Chandrasekher added.

The consumer segment has, however, not moved significantly to the Centrino because Intel focused on business users this year, according to Chandrasekher. He added that the retail and consumer segment shift would happen next year.

Setting the Standard

In the beginning of this year, Intel largely focused on the 802.11a and 802.11b standards, although the company discovered that while 802.11a was technically a better solution for corporate use and hotspots, the demand for 802.11g was emerging, according to Chandrasekher.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel is shipping to OEMs by the end of this month a chip with dual mode support for both 802.11b and 802.11g standards, and products from OEMs are expected in the first quarter of next year, said Chandrasekher.

Both the 802.11b and 802.11g standards operate on the 2.4-GHz frequency, although the 802.11g standard offers a data transfer speed of 54 megabits per second, in comparison with the 11 mbps speed offered by 802.11b. In October Intel started shipping a dual mode chip with support for the 802.11a and 802.11b standards. 802.11a, which also offers a data transfer speed of 54 mbps, is faster than 802.11b and operates in the 5-GHz frequency.

Under Intel's wireless verification program, rolled out in March as part of the Centrino launch, there are currently over 24,000 Centrino-branded certified hotspots worldwide, and Intel is working with over 80 wireless LAN service providers.

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