Centrino: Wireless Networking
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 Receive150 Mb/s Transmit||300 Mb/s Receive300 Mb/s Transmit||450 Mb/s Receive450 Mb/s Transmit|
|Bands||2.4 GHz Single-Band20/40 MHz||2.4 and 5 GHz Dual-Band20/40 MHz||2.4 and 5 GHz Dual-Band20/40 MHz|
|Segments||NetbooksConsumer NotebooksSMB||Consumer NotebooksPerformance NotebooksSMB/Enterprise||Consumer NotebookPerformance NotebooksSMB/Enterprise|
|Enterprise/SMB Features||PROSet for XPCisco CCXv4||PROSet for XPCisco CCXv4||PROSet for XPCisco 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.