Intel Intros Draft-N Centrino

by David Needle

Intel joins the throng pushing ahead with 802.11n based on the draft specification.

Today Intel announced a faster Wi-Fi spec today that is close enough to final that it will appear in the next notebook computers.

The Next-Gen Wireless-N, an embedded network adapter card for notebook computers, reaches speeds up to five times faster than current 802.11g Wi-Fi solutions and has up to twice the range.

Intel also said its Wireless-N will help notebook makers squeeze as much as an extra hour of battery life out of their systems. Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba were among notebook makers Intel named that plan to release Centrino Duo notebooks with the Wireless-N solution, along with Microsoft's new Vista operating system, by the end of this month.

Wireless-N also improves the home network experience, especially when multiple people access their wireless networks simultaneously, the company said. Another advantage is that the technology reduces "dead spots" in the home and optimizes high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming HD movies.

Intel  is not alone in forging ahead with plans to put "Draft N" 802.11n-labeled gear out there for sale. Apple &Nbspis putting draft 802.11n in its AirPort Extreme, Apple TV and all Intel Core 2 Duo and Xeon-based Macs.

Intel said it's also launched a "Connect with Centrino" certification program to ensure compatibility and performance with leading access providers. Vendors who pass certain testing criteria will be able to display a "Connect with Centrino" identifier on their product packaging.

Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay said he thinks the Draft N spec is ready for prime time. "I think the working groups that developed the Draft N spec have concluded they nailed the technical issues and they have it doing what it's supposed to," Kay told internetnews.com.

"And if [the vendors] establish a de facto standard on the ground, it will be what the IEEE (define) adopts. There's no need to wait, the IEEE is just not moving very quickly to ratify the final spec."

The Intel product is also compatible with earlier 802.11 a/b/g specifications.

Kay said the Draft N is needed now, particularly in the home market, to speed wireless connectivity. "If you look at how wireless operates today, it's not quite good enough for video or to cover the whole area of your home. This is what Draft N enables; it gets us a lot closer to solving the problem."

Article courtesy of internetnews.com

This article was originally published on Wednesday Jan 24th 2007