RealTime IT News

Intel Formalizes 802.11 Initiative at Developer Forum

Intel Corp. on Wednesday formalized the initiative it announced last spring around the increasingly popular IEEE 802.11 wireless standard with the introduction of the AnyPoint Wireless II Network family of products -- the successor of its AnyPoint product line that previously relied on the HomeRF standard.

The product line is designed to provide high-speed wireless network connectivity and shared Internet access for the home, home office and small office environments. This family of so-called wireless LAN (WLAN) products consists of a USB model, a PC card and the Intel Wireless Gateway -- all based on the IEEE 802.11b standard, which transfers data at speeds up to 11 million bits per second (Mbps).

At the ongoing Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, Calif., the company announced that AnyPoint Wireless II will now be available in North America in leading retail outlets. Suggested retail prices are $129 for the PC card and $149 for the USB model. The Intel Wireless Gateway is now available for business use and will be available for consumers in October with suggested retail pricing to be announced at a later date.

When Intel first announced adoption of the 802.11 standard last spring, the move was considered a major blow to the HomeRF standard and its supporters like Proxim . However, since that announcement, Proxim has stepped up its development efforts on the next-generation of HomeRF (known simply as version 2.0) as well as diversified its development efforts to support 802.11a -- a next step in the 802.11 migration path.

The AnyPoint Wireless II Network products incorporate the AnyPoint Connectivity Software Suite, which supports file and printer sharing and includes Internet security features such as Web site filtering for parental control, integrated firewall protection, and 128-bit 802.11b Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) encryption.

The products also include the AnyPoint Connection Manager for mobile connectivity. The AnyPoint Connection Manager provides a convenient way for laptop users to switch between different 802.11b networks. Laptops equipped with the AnyPoint Connection Manager and the AnyPoint Wireless II Network PC card can surf the Web from around the home, at work or from public hotspots such as Starbucks.

All of the products are compatible with high-speed Internet access specifications such as digital subscriber line and cable modems. The products have received the official Wi-Fi certification by the Wireless Interoperability Compatibility Alliance (WECA).