Intel launched its Wireless-N network card earlier than expected, hoping to generate sales to home notebook users hungry for more bandwidth.
Intel unveiled the improved wireless card on Tuesday to allow notebook PC users to share five times the data at twice the range of their current 802.11a/g cards and improving PCs' ability to download music and stream high-definition video.
Intel's Next-Gen Wireless-N network connection is an embedded network adapter card that uses the IEEE 802.11 draft-N standard, and also operates with previous a, b, and g standards.
By announcing the product Tuesday, Intel is jumping ahead of IEEE's final adoption of the 802.11n standard, expected later this quarter and also scooping its own launch of "Santa Rosa," a product that will improve the popular Centrino and Centrino Duo platforms by updating the processor, chipset, graphics and wireless card.
Intel decided to launch the card early to support notebook users who need enough bandwidth to download music files and high-definition video, as well as simple email and web pages, said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group.
Another reason Intel pushed the card to market was that Intel chief Eexecutive Paul Otellini has cited Santa Rosa as one of the technologies he is banking on to make his company more profitable in 2007. Intel has reported a string of disappointing quarterly earnings reports, including the most recent on 16 January, when the company listed profits down 39% from its mark last year.