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Centrino: Wireless Networking

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With Centrino no longer a platform designator, the brand is being used to advocate and sell more of Intel’s wireless products. The company will try to sell Calpella-based notebooks with one of three different WiFi product offerings: the existing WiFi Link 1000, Advanced N WiFi Link 6200, or Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300.

The first controller is already part of Intel’s wireless portfolio, sporting a 1x2 antenna configuration for up to 300 Mb/s receive and 150 Mb/s transmit speeds. It’s a single-band 2.4 GHz component currently listed as Draft-N-compliant, but we assume it’ll be receiving the same n validation as the other two options. The WiFi Link 1000 doesn’t support AMT 6.0, and therefore cannot be part of a vPro-enabled notebook.

Intel WiFi Link
Wireless N 1000
Advanced N 6200
Ultimate N 6300
Code Name
Condor Peak 1x2
Puma Peak 2x2
Puma Peak 3x3
Speed
300 Mb/s Receive
150 Mb/s Transmit
300 Mb/s Receive
300 Mb/s Transmit
450 Mb/s Receive
450 Mb/s Transmit
Bands
2.4 GHz Single-Band
20/40 MHz
2.4 and 5 GHz Dual-Band
20/40 MHz
2.4 and 5 GHz Dual-Band
20/40 MHz
Segments
Netbooks
Consumer Notebooks
SMB
Consumer Notebooks
Performance Notebooks
SMB/Enterprise
Consumer Notebook
Performance Notebooks
SMB/Enterprise
Enterprise/SMB Features
PROSet for XP
Cisco CCXv4
PROSet for XP
Cisco CCXv4
PROSet for XP
Cisco CCXv4
Manageability
-
AMT 6.0
AMT 6.0
Value-Added Features
My WiFi Technology
My WiFi Technology
My WiFi Technology
Performance Enhancements
-
-
Additional performance optimizations*

*-information from Intel. No additional details given re: performance optimizations.

For that, you’ll need one of the two Puma Peak-based controllers (or a WiMAX-enabled Kilmer Peak card). The Advanced N 6200 employs a 2x2 antenna config with transmit and receive data rates of up to 300 Mb/s, a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz radio and AMT 6.0 support. The Ultimate N 6300 is a 3x3 design running at up to 450 Mb/s send/receive. Intel claims the flagship card includes additional performance optimizations as well, but doesn’t specify how else the 6300 might be superior.

All three cards support what Intel calls its My WiFi feature for Windows Vista and 7, facilitating a connection from the notebook to nearby WiFi devices. Of course, this isn’t technically new technology—you could accomplish the same thing by creating an ad hoc wireless network. However, My WiFi is interesting in that it lets you establish this “Personal Area Network” (to borrow a term commonly associated with Bluetooth) without breaking an existing local area network connection.

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