We all know that WiMAX is coming, eventually. But what will it take to push the long-range wireless standard into the mass market? It might be as simple as integrating WiMAX support into a widely-used chipset and Intel's Centrino line certainly fits the bill. While we're already expecting at least one groundbreaking announcement from the chipmaking giant at this week's Developer Forum in Beijing, there may be yet another ace up Intel's sleeve.
While the company is only now gearing up for its upcoming Centrino Pro chipset, nicknamed Santa Rosa (which, as you will recall, was once supposed to support HSDPA), it plans to announce its next-generation Centrino chipset, Montevina, later this week. The new Centrino won't support HSDPA either--it will instead substitute WiMAX, which will be Intel's next-gen wireless tech of choice, moving forward. Why the change of heart? Apparently Nokia and Intel jointly decided "that the potential return on investment from supporting HSDPA didn't justify the development effort," a crushing blow to supporters of the 3G technology. Intel's WiMAX-sporting Centrino chipset should hit shelves in early 2008--just in time for Sprint's initial WiMAX networks to get off the ground. Coupled together, Sprint's network and Intel's chipset could give WiMAX the push into the market that it needs. Article