Intel stalls Centrino combination chip launch

Intel has warned that the combination wireless version of its Centrino chip will be delayed because testing and validation of the...

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Intel has warned that the combination wireless version of its Centrino chip will be delayed because testing and...

validation of the chip is still taking place.

The company had hoped to deliver the 802.11a/802.11b chip by the end of this month, but customers will now have to wait until October.

This is the third time the chip's arrival has been delayed. Intel had hoped to ship a combination 802.11a/802.11b chip with the launch of Centrino in March, but announced last December it would arrive sometime in the first half of 2003.

Then, at Intel's spring analyst meeting in New York, the company said that the chip would be released by the end of the third quarter.

Intel will not release a chip with the 802.11g standard until the end of this year, when it launches a combination 802.11b/802.11g chip, said intel spokesman Daniel Francisco, adding that the company will follow with a chip supporting all three major wireless internet standards around the middle of next year.

Devices that operate on the 802.11b standard and 802.11g standards are compatible, since both standards operate on the 2.4GHz frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. But the 802.11g standard allows users to connect to the internet at much faster speeds than 802.11b.

The 802.11a standard operates on the 5GHz frequency, which is less cluttered by other wireless devices, but incompatible with the other standards. Users can send and receive data at around the same speeds as 802.11g networks, but the range of the connection is shorter than that of 802.11b or 802.11g networks.

Intel launched the Centrino package with an 802.11b chip in March.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service



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