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Intel draft-n card offers whole-home coverage

Posted: 29 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? 802.11n? Centrino? Intel? draft 11n?

Intel's 4965AGN draft-11n module

Intel Corp. announced it is in production with its draft 802.11n wireless modules, and at least four notebook makers are expected to announce systems using them. In addition, the company has certified five makers of access points as compatible with its chips.

Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba will announce notebooks using Intel's 11n module with the official release of the consumer version of Windows Vista January 30. Asus, Buffalo, Belkin, D-Link and NetGear will ship 11n access points wearing a new "Connect with Centrino" logo showing they have been tested with the Intel module.

Intel provided no details about whether the largest notebook makersDell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packardwill use its 11n modules. Cisco Systems subsidiary Linksys is "evaluating" the Intel interoperability program for access points, said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group.

IEEE 1.10 draft
Intel claims its 11n module is compliant with the IEEE 1.10 draft issued at a meeting in London last week. However, the module, in its initial version, will not support bonding two 20MHz channels together in the 2.4GHz spectrum to achieve higher data rates.

The 1.10 draft allows the channel-bonding option if client systems test to make sure the full 40MHz band is available. Hofer said Intel will run additional tests to see whether it wants to support 40MHz channels at 2.4 GHz in future versions of its module. The module does support 40MHz channels in the 5GHz band.

The Intel module supports 2x3 and 2x3 MIMO antenna configurations, provides sustained 125Mbps data rates and can transfer a 19Mbps high definition video stream up to 68m. It includes four chipstwo analog front end devices believed to come from third parties, and an RFIC and baseband made by Intel.

The so-called 4965AGN module supports twice the range and five times the throughput of Intel's current 11abg module, Hofer said. "11n will support whole home coverage with the ability to handle high-definition video," he added.

More battery life
The module delivers up to an hour more battery life than some competing 11n products, Hofer said. However, the company did not detail the exact power consumption of the module.

Intel supports the plans announced last August of the Wi-Fi Alliance to certify draft 11n products, Hofer said. Intel's "Connect with Centrino" programs adds others tests not covered by the WFA regime, he added.

"We view the WFA as testing protocol-level interoperability. We add real-world test cases the WFA does not test for," Hofer said.

Specifically, Intel has conducted four sets of tests in a large two-story home, including tests of interference with microwave ovens, baby monitors and cordless phones.

- Gina Roos

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