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Intel Corp. has introduced the company’s first wireless network adapter that is compliant with draft-802.11n standard and is claimed to be an upgrade to the wireless component found inside Intel Centrino Duo platforms and other Intel-based laptops that helps consumers to have higher wireless network speeds.

The 802.11n standard promises to increase transfer speed of wireless networks to about 600Mb/s while maintaining compatibility with currently deployed 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi networks. Intel’s draft-802.11n, however, has maximum speed of 300Mb/s. In addition, the new wireless network speed provides better working ranges as well as improved high definition videos streaming capabilities.

In addition, Intel said it has initiated the “Connect with Centrino” program. Through this program, Intel has worked with access point (AP) vendors including Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear to better ensure compatibility and performance with Intel’s draft-802.11n adapter. Intel’s wireless-N product is certified to work with multiple APs and as these AP’s successfully pass Intel’s rigorous real-world testing certification criteria, they will display a “Connect with Centrino” identifier on their product packaging, allowing consumers a choice for connecting with more confidence.

“Integrating wireless-N technology into notebook computers delivers the speed, coverage and multi-tasking abilities needed for consumers to enjoy their home networking and digital entertainment. Additionally, access points that are identified by our new ‘Connect with Centrino’ logo assure consumers that they are purchasing a compatible wireless-N system,” said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel’s mobile platforms group.

Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN as well as the “Connect with Centrino” identifier will be delivered in conjunction with new notebook computers powered by Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology from OEMs such as Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba that are being distributed with Microsoft Windows Vista beginning in late January and other OEMs to follow.

There were two groups that proposed 802.11n standards to IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): World-Wide Spectrum Efficiency (WWiSE) group and Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC) which standards were not completely compatible between each other. Recently IEEE approved EWC-proposed 802.11n draft standard effectively splitting the developers of the 802.11n into two camps, one of which can start making equipment now and another should wait till the final standard approval.

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