Intel to brand wireless architecture as ‘Centrino’

Intel Corp. has chosen Centrino, the Italian word for a lace table centrepiece or doily, as the brand name for its forthcoming wireless computing technology, it announced Wednesday.

The Centrino brand is an umbrella name for a range of technologies to be introduced in the first half of this year, including IEEE 802.11 WLAN (wireless LAN) chips and a new microprocessor, known until now by its code name “Banias,” which is designed to extend the battery life of mobile devices, the company said in a statement.

“When we launch Centrino, we will launch the whole lot,” said Mathias Raeck, a spokesperson for Intel.

Initial Centrino products will support 802.11b WLAN systems, which carry data at up to 11Mbps in the 2.4GHz frequency band, Raeck said. Later, Intel will introduce dual-mode products also supporting the 802.11a standard, which allows for data transmission at up to 54Mbps in the 5GHz band, he said.

Intel has been talking up its plans for Banias for months, emphasizing how it can be used to make thinner, lighter laptops that run cooler and use less power.

Raeck was not aware of Centrino’s Italian handicraft connection, but put a positive spin on things.

“Centrino is a mix: one part is the centre, being in the centre of all the things we do, and the other is the thin and light form factor. I’m sure someone’s thought of that,” he said.

The brand name will be accompanied by a pink “Intel Inside” logo in a new shape representing “flight, mobility and forward movement,” Intel said.

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