Tri-Mode Wi-Fi Module from Intel

August 27th, 2004 in Technology /
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Intel has added new wireless capabilities to its Centrino mobile technology for laptops.

Intel Corporation today announced the addition of key wireless capabilities for notebooks based on Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, including ease-of-use software, advanced security features, and support for the three Wi-Fi standards. The new tri-mode wireless module (supporting IEEE standards 802.11a, b and g) and wireless software help make it faster and easier for end-users to set up a wireless connection with any Wi-Fi network, at the maximum available data rate.

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What is Wi-Fi?
It’s short for “wireless fidelity,” and it is used to describe products that follow the 802.11 set of standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The most popular of these is 802.11b, which operates in the 2.4 GHz band (the same frequency band as a microwave oven and cordless telephone) and transfers data at 11 megabits per second (Mbps). The emerging 802.11a standard operates in the 5 GHz band and can transfer data up to 54 Mbps. The 802.11g standard, the newest, is compatible with 802.11b and operates in the same 2.4 GHz band, but it can transfer up to 54 Mbps like 802.11a. These technologies have a range of about 300 feet.

According to International Data Corporation (a sister company to Darwinmag.com publisher CXO Media), the market for 802.11a is the most promising. By 2006, IDC predicts the 802.11a market to reach $1.58 billion, up from just $35 million in 2001. _____________________________________________________________

According to analyst firm Pyramid Research*, there could be as many as 700 million Wi-Fi users by 2007. However, even as Wi-Fi becomes increasingly pervasive, the benefits and advantages of wireless computing are still clouded by concerns of security and complexity. Intel has significantly improved several key areas of wireless computing that help make connecting to standard Wi-Fi networks around the world simpler and more secure.

"Wi-Fi networks continue to increase rapidly in number, but users still have concerns about how hard it will be to connect and whether the network is secure," said Jim Johnson, Intel vice president and general manager of the Wireless Networking Group. "With this new addition to Intel Centrino mobile technology, Intel is delivering sophisticated ease-of-use and security features to enable a better mobile computing experience."

Software Simplifies End-User Experience
Along with the new Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection, Intel is also delivering the Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software version 9.0. The updated software includes a tool called the Intel Smart Wireless Solution which is made up of a configuration wizard, advanced troubleshooting and automated security set up. The technology detects and shows all available networks and offers advanced profile management so users can more easily connect to different wireless networks while at home, in the office or on the road.

Additionally, Intel has worked with leading vendors to make it even easier to get connected to the Internet. Intel has implemented the most current version of Cisco Compatible Extensions* in Intel PROSet/Wireless Software version 9.0, which delivers compatibility and interoperability with Cisco infrastructure. Additionally, as a result of an agreement announced last year between Intel and Linksys*, the two companies have co-developed a solution that allows Intel Centrino mobile technology-based notebooks to locate an un-configured Linksys access point and automatically guide users through a short and simple set-up process.

Advanced Security for Wireless Users
To help protect end-users and keep corporate information safe, Intel has included the latest wireless LAN security solutions in its new wireless offering. For enterprise users, this module supports the new IEEE 802.11i security standard, which offers the highest level of security currently available. Enterprise users can also employ a single sign-on feature during login to seamlessly authenticate users on the wireless network. Advanced auto-detection and auto-select security capabilities make it easier for wireless users to employ the highest available security settings. The technology currently supports Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WEP security, and is expected to support WPA2, when available.

The Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection is the latest addition to Intel Centrino mobile technology, which combines the Intel® Pentium® M processor, the Intel® 855 chipset family and an Intel PRO/Wireless network connection WLAN solution. Intel Centrino mobile technology enables integrated wireless LAN connectivity, great battery life, lighter weight PC designs and outstanding mobile performance.

Athens Hotspots
To continue to demonstrate the benefits of wireless computing and to celebrate the launch of the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection, Intel enabled several 802.11a/b/g hotspots in Athens this summer for global travelers to enjoy. Travelers and local residents are able to send photos, check e-mail, make voice-over-IP phone calls worldwide and stay connected. Users of the 802.11a/b/g hotspots enjoyed the benefits of a tri-mode solution, including high-speed bandwidth, less interference and quicker connections using Intel PROSet/Wireless Software version 9.0.

802.11
A family of wireless specifications developed by a working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 802.11 specifications are used to manage packet traffic over a network and ensure that packets do not "collide" when traveling from the point of origin to the destination.

Wireless Local Area Network
A communications network that uses radio frequency technology to transmit network messages through the air within a single location, such as an office or university.

"Tri-Mode Wi-Fi Module from Intel." August 27th, 2004. http://phys.org/news966.html