Wireless Briefs: Intel, Palm

Wireless Briefs: Intel, Palm

Intel delays Centrino chip again

Intel spurred the rapid growth of public-access Wi-Fi with its Centrino chip set for laptop computers but has stumbled in its efforts to keep up with the competition in development of a Centrino family beyond the 802.11b standard. Intel had planned to introduce a dual-band chip set at the Centrino launch back in March that could handle the 802.11b WLAN as well as the 802.11a standard. At the time, Intel spokesperson, Dan Francisco, said the a/b Centrino chip set wouldn’t be ready for shipping until the second quarter. Last month, Francisco said Intel had delayed shipments of the dual-band chip until the fourth quarter because of ongoing “engineering validations”. The delays put Intel well behind its competition in the WLAN field, which includes Broadcom and Atheros Communications. These companies have been shipping dual-band a/b chips or tri-band a/b/g chips for much of the year.

Palm narrows Q1 loss

Palm reported a narrower than expected loss for the first quarter of its fiscal year, helped by higher average selling prices for its products and tight inventory and cost controls. The handheld computer and software vendor reported a loss of $US21.75 million for the period ended August 29. That compared with a $US258.75 million net loss for the same period last year. Excluding costs related to restructuring and other special items, Palm’s loss was $US16.9 million. In the year-earlier period Palm reported a loss excluding special items of $36.4 million. Palm said it shipped about 645,000 Palm handhelds in the quarter. About 1.2 million Palm-powered handhelds were shipped in total, according to PalmSource, which sells operating system licenses.

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