Intel to invest $US150m in Wi-Fi

Intel to invest $US150m in Wi-Fi

Intel will direct $US150 million in funding to companies developing 802.11b and other wireless networking products. The money, coming from the $US500 million Intel Communications Fund established three years ago, should help accelerate the deployment of wireless networks and proliferate the 802.11b standard worldwide, Intel said in a statement.

The fund will invest in companies developing hardware and software products and services that enable user-friendly and secure wireless network connections, simpler billing procedures, a robust infrastructure and new ways to connect while on the road, Intel said.

802.11b, or Wi-Fi, is a standard for wireless LANs operating in the 2.4GHz spectrum offering transmission speeds up to 11Mbps. The technology is used for public hotspots at airports, hotels and conference centres as well as by companies and consumers that use it for wireless networks in the home or office.

An increased uptake of wireless LAN will benefit Intel, which in the first half of next year will launch a chip, code-named Banias, that has built-in support for both the 802.11b and 802.11a wireless LAN technologies. 802.11a is a standard for wireless LANs operating in the 5GHz frequency range with a maximum data rate of 54Mbps.

The Intel Communications Fund has already invested about $US25 million in over 10 companies in the WLAN space, Intel said.

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