Intel Upgrades Centrino With 802.11n

The chipmaker is upgrading the wireless component inside its Centrino Duo mobile technology found in some PCs and other Intel-based laptops. Intel unveiled on Tuesday its Next-Gen Wireless N network connection.

The component is based on the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, which is designed to replace the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi standards for local area networking.

While not an official industry standard, Intel has been a staunch supporter of 802.11n, which uses MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology that can reach data rate speeds of 540 Megabits per second from distances of more than 100 feet.

The improved designs are expected to better handle broadband-intense downloads, like movies and videos, while providing up to an extra hour of notebook battery life when compared to existing Draft-N products, according to a report from Intel.

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"Integrating wireless-N technology into notebook computers based on Centrino Duo with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor delivers the speed, coverage and multi-tasking abilities needed for consumers to enjoy their home networking and digital entertainment," said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel, in a written statement. "Additionally, access points that are identified by our new Connect with Centrino logo assure consumers that they are purchasing a compatible wireless-N system."

Intel reports that it has initiated its marketing and technology "Connect with Centrino" program. The company is using the program to work with access point vendors, including Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear, to better ensure compatibility and performance. Intel's wireless-N product is certified to work with multiple access points. As these access points pass Intel's real-world certification testing, they will display a "Connect with Centrino" label on their product packages.

Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N technology, as well as the "Connect with Centrino" identifier, will be delivered in conjunction with new Intel-based notebook computers from PC manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba.