RealTime IT News

Airgo Teams with AMD

Intel has long has its Centrino brand to bring Wi-Fi to the masses. But what has CPU rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) had? Until now, laptop OEMs would simply pair it with the Wi-Fi chip of their choice. Today, Airgo Networks says its 3rd Generation MIMO chip will be part of the offering for original equipment manufacturers using AMD's Turion 64 X2 mobile, a dual-core 64-bit processor for laptops announced last month.

Greg Raleigh, President and CEO of Airgo, said in the announcement, "This design is going to power notebooks capable of running multimedia and intensive data applications, effectively extending hotspots far beyond their current boundaries.”

Airgo officials were unavailable to comment as they attend the COMPUTEX show in Taiwan this week. This is likely not exclusive —AMD has said in the Turion 64 X2 FAQ that it  "typically works with a wide range of industry-leading chipset and wireless partners," and lists Wi-Fi chipmakers Atheros and Broadcom among them.

Intel's Centrino branding of its Wi-Fi chip in laptops has been very successful, and is, in fact, a division of the company Intel is not planning to sell off in a planned restructuring announced today. WiMax technology will also be safe at Intel, but Xscale processors are on the block.

While Intel feels a bit of pinch, AMD continues to grow. It recently claimed it would have one third of the total CPU market by 2009, a climb of more than 20 percent if it pulls it off.

Airgo Networks, which has seen serious growth with sales of its MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) technology based Wi-Fi chips over the last year, recently trumpeted its entry into the set top box (STB) market through a deal with STMicroelectronics. Other companies in the Wi-Fi STB space include Ruckus Wireless, which claims to have a superior position with better performance (especially at long distances) because its technology works with any existing 802.11 chips.

Airgo continues to support its 3rd Generation for STBs, laptops and more — they also announced today a mid-tier version of the chip — until the 802.11n specification is farther along. Airgo says current so-called "Draft N" products based on the 1.0 draft from the IEEE are not up to snuff, a position so far borne out by independent testing. Rival Wi-Fi chipmakers Broadcom and Atheros, however, recently claimed that their Draft N chipsets would work in perfect harmony with the 100+Mbps speeds 11n is supposed to deliver.