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Wireless-N

As before, the updated Centrino Duo platform (Santa Rosa) also includes a wireless network adapter. It uses a new Intel 4964AGN controller (codenames Kedron) that supports the preliminary 802.11n specification. However, although Intel promoted very actively this particular component in all marketing materials, the actual state of things is much more complicated than that.

The main problem lies with the compatibility of devices designed according to the preliminary 802.11n spec. while the final version of this document hasn’t been approved yet, you may experience compatibility issues when working with wireless cards from different manufacturers. Therefore, instead of the “revolutionary” wireless Intel 4964AGN module, new notebooks based on Santa Rosa platform may come equipped with either a cut-down wireless controller modification – Intel 4964AG supporting only 802.11g protocol, or with the good old 3945ABG component with similar features that has already stood the test of time.

The so long-awaited final approval of the 802.11n standard that should finally get it out of the “temporary” state, is still pending, unfortunately. However, we cannot help mentioning the advantages it will deliver once accepted.

First of all, new wireless standard promised significant data transfer rate increase. Maximum theoretical bandwidth may reach 300Mbit/s, which is about 5 times faster than what 802.11g networks can deliver. Preliminary tests also show that the data transfer rate will increase dramatically: in some cases we can even claim that wireless network proves faster than wired Fast Ethernet.

Among other advantages of the 802.11n standard we should definitely mention wide operational range and the absence of “dead zones”. It is achieved thanks to standardization of the MIMO technology that is used by numerous equipment builders already. Moreover, the new standard offer improved security algorithms including WPA2 AES encoding.

 
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