Intel eases into WLAN with 802.11b chipset

Intel announced this week that it would not release a dual-band 802.11a/b wireless LAN (WLAN) chipset for its notebook processor...

Intel announced this week that it would not release a dual-band 802.11a/b wireless LAN (WLAN) chipset for its notebook processor until late into the first half of 2003.

The company wanted "to ensure that when it is introduced, customers get the performance, reliability and capacity that people expect from Intel", said Graham Palmer, Intel's UK press relations manager.

A single-band 802.11b chipset for the Banias microprocessor is scheduled for release early in the first half of next year, company executives said.

Intel will release the Banias microprocessor along with a module - codenamed Calexico - containing both the Banias and WLAN chips, plus other components.. Calexico will, initially, support only lower-speed 802.11b wireless access using radio chips from Philips.

The IEEE 802.11b standard describes a technology that uses radio spectrum in the range of 2.4GHz and has a maximum carrying capacity of 11Mbps. The more recently completed 802.11a standard uses spectrum in the range of 5GHz and offers a maximum capacity of 54Mbps.

An 802.11g standard, now nearing approval, would provide for a capacity of 54Mbps using the 2.4GHz band, allowing for high-speed wireless LAN gear that uses the same spectrum as the installed base of 802.11b clients. Approval for the 802.11g standard is expected in March.

When the dual-band chipset is released, it may include 802.11g support.

Intel has reached an agreement with iPass, to allow users of Banias-based notebooks to access the Internet through the same software whether they are using "hot spots" or dial-up.

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