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Intel Upgrades Centrino With 802.11n

The chipmaker will begin to identify which Intel-based laptops have the next-generation wireless component.

Intel is trying to make it easier for wireless computer users to download and play music, videos and movies.

The chipmaker is upgrading the wireless component inside its Centrino Duo mobile technology found in some PCs and other Intel-based laptops. Intel unveiled on Tuesday its Next-Gen Wireless N network connection.

The component is based on the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, which is designed to replace the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi standards for local area networking.

While not an official industry standard, Intel has been a staunch supporter of 802.11n, which uses MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology that can reach data rate speeds of 540 Megabits per second from distances of more than 100 feet.

The improved designs are expected to better handle broadband-intense downloads, like movies and videos, while providing up to an extra hour of notebook battery life when compared to existing Draft-N products, according to a report from Intel.

"Integrating wireless-N technology into notebook computers based on Centrino Duo with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor delivers the speed, coverage and multi-tasking abilities needed for consumers to enjoy their home networking and digital entertainment," said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel, in a written statement. "Additionally, access points that are identified by our new Connect with Centrino logo assure consumers that they are purchasing a compatible wireless-N system."

Intel reports that it has initiated its marketing and technology "Connect with Centrino" program. The company is using the program to work with access point vendors, including Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear, to better ensure compatibility and performance. Intel's wireless-N product is certified to work with multiple access points. As these access points pass Intel's real-world certification testing, they will display a "Connect with Centrino" label on their product packages.

Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N technology, as well as the "Connect with Centrino" identifier, will be delivered in conjunction with new Intel-based notebook computers from PC manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba.

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