Intel, Cisco team up on Wi-Fi enhancements

Intel and Cisco plan to deliver better technology for business wireless LANs next year, company executives said Tuesday.

Intel and Cisco Systems have joined forces to improve the Wi-Fi experience, initially by delivering better technology for VoIP and for enabling users to automatically connect to the best nearby network.

The partnership's first two technologies, called the Business Class Wireless Suite, will become available next year, executives told the Intel Developer Forum.

Intel executive-vice president and general manager of the Mobility Group, Sean Maloney, also demonstrated a next-generation handheld processor and announced a partnership with Matsushita Electric Industrial [Panasonic] aimed at longer battery life.

The Intel-Cisco partnership will also focus on simplifying installation of Wi-Fi out of the box to improve both security and ease of use, with initiatives that span both the enterprise and consumer markets, Maloney said. The partnership is an expansion of an existing relationship.

To improve the quality of voice calls over Wi-Fi, the pair would introduce technology that can give voice calls higher quality of service than data traffic, Cisco senior vice-president and chief development officer, and president of the company's Linksys division, Charles Giancarlo, said.

There will be components of the technology both on notebook PCs and on Cisco routers, he said.

The other Wi-Fi enhancement the companies plan to release will change the way clients automatically select a nearby access point when the user starts hooking up to a business wireless LAN.

Clients would be able to choose the access point with the most available bandwidth at the moment, Giancarlo said.

Maloney also demonstrated Intel's next-generation processor for handhelds, code-named Monahans.

In a partnership with Matsushita, Intel will develop technology to increase notebook battery life by as much as 30 per cent, Maloney said. It will move Intel toward the goal of achieving eight hours of battery life by 2008, he said.

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