Wi-Fi to come late to Grantsdale party

Access-point components due Q4

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Intel's much-vaunted software-based Wi-Fi access point technology, once touted as a key feature of the upcoming 'Grantsdale' and 'Alderwood' Pentium 4 chipsets, will not be available when products are formally announced this weekend.

What's missing, Intel officials admit, are the add-in cards needed to equip mobos based on the new chipsets with Wi-Fi.

"We're announcing the technology [on] Monday and providing availability later throughout the year," Intel spokesman Dan Snyder said, eWeek's Mark Hachman reports.

Said daughtercard only contains the Wi-Fi radio - the control circuitry is incorporated into the ICH6W South Bridge that's a part of both Grantsdale and Alderwood. The upshot is that add-in card and South Bridge are inextricably linked. So to offer Wi-Fi with a Grantsdale machine lacking the Intel daughterboard, system builders will need to add a complete third-party Wi-Fi adaptor card.

No third-party Wi-Fi radio currently available can work with ICH6W's wireless components, Snyder said.

Intel's daughtercards will ramp during the third and fourth quarters, he added.

Grantsdale and Alderwood will sell as the i915 and i925 series, respectively. The chipsets will be formally launched this weekend, along with their 775-pin CPU connection socket and six Pentium 4 processors capable of being installed in it.

The P4 520, 530, 540, 550 and 560 will be clocked at 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6GHz, respectively. All will support an 800MHz frontside bus and HyperThreading, and include 1MB of L2 cache. Intel will also offer a 775-pin version of its 3.4GHz P4 Extreme Edition. Most are 775-pin re-tools of existing 478-pin CPUs; only the 3.6GHz P4 is a truly new chip. ®

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