Intel ships 802.11b/g wireless chip

Intel ships 802.11b/g wireless chip

Intel announced its first 802.11g wireless chip Thursday for notebooks bearing the Centrino banner, the company said in a release.

The Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG chip allows users to connect to either 802.11b or 802.11g wireless networks. Intel is shipping the chip to its notebook customers with systems expected worldwide during the first quarter, said Dan Francisco, an Intel spokesman.

The Centrino package of the Pentium M processor, a mobile chipset, and the Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 chip was introduced in March of last year with 802.11b capability only. The 802.11b standard is the most widely used for wireless LAN (WLAN) connections, but the 802.11g and 802.11a standards offer greater bandwidth of around 20M bps (bits per second) to 25M bps in real-world conditions. The 802.11b standard offers around 4M bps to 5M bps of bandwidth in real-world conditions.

Intel had hoped to have the greater bandwidth options available at the Centrino launch, but a series of delays pushed the launch of the combination 802.11a/b chip into October. A dual-band chip with support for all three major WLAN networks is expected to start shipping to customers in the middle of this year, Francisco said.

Other WLAN chip vendors, such as Atheros Communications or Broadcom, have had dual-band products out for months, but the market for 802.11g access points is just now starting to take off, Francisco said.

In 10,000-unit quantities, the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG chip costs US$25.

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