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The module is among the first to be released in an expected onslaught of cards that will offer support for different wireless networking protocols by way of a single add-in module. This in turn will allow PC makers to design thinner and lighter laptops with built-in wireless networking capabilities.
Both 802.11b and Bluetooth are expected to grow in popularity over the coming months. Adding support for these protocols will allow users to access wireless LANs from their notebooks - as well as exchange data with other devices such as personal digital assistants and other computers - without the need for PCMCIA network cards or external Bluetooth adapters.
Wistron Neweb's 802.11b/Bluetooth module is currently available in the US for less than $70 (£49) per unit on orders of 10,000. Notebooks that include the module are expected to appear on the market early next year.