By Ara C. Trembly
A new technology from chipmaker Intel Corporation promises to give mobile computer users “greater freedom to connect in new places and in new ways.”
First introduced in March of this year, Intel Centrino technology includes a new processor that delivers higher performance and lower power consumption, which results in longer battery life, says Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel. Centrino also provides wireless network communications and other features designed to increase battery life and provide thinner and lighter notebook computer designs.
“Unwiring the PC will change the way people use computers, allowing them to communicate, be productive or be entertained wherever and whenever they want,” stated Craig Barrett, Intels chief executive officer, when the technology was released. “This breakthrough innovation, together with industrywide investment and Wi-Fi hotspot deployments, brings new computing and communications capabilities to businesses and consumers, adding value to mobile PCs.”
Wi-Fi is one of several standards for wireless networks. A popular standard is 802.11b, while subsequent standards include 802.11g. The basic 11a and 11b standards have been branded as “Wi-Fi.” Hotspots are locations where mobile computer users can connect using 802.11 wireless technology.
As part of its Centrino push, Intel said it has been working with wireless network service providers, hotels, airports, restaurant chains and other establishments to accelerate hotspot deployment and awareness. The company said it expects to verify Centrino compatibility for more than 10,000 such hotspots by the end of 2003.
The Intel Pentium M processor that is part of Centrino includes several technical advances that deliver faster execution of instructions at lower power, the company stated.
The Intel 855 chipset family, also part of Centrino, includes two new designs exclusively for the mobile market, said Intel. Both support enhanced graphics and help manage power consumption.
Intels PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection “has been designed and validated to connect easily to 802.11b Wi-Fi certified access points,” Intel added.