Intel is delaying the launch of its first dual-band Wi-Fi chip in a move which could give rivals a head start.
The chip giant was due to launch a chip called Calexico, with an 802.11a and b module, at the same time as it launches its new notebook chip, Banias, in the first half of next year.
Banias has been designed specifically for notebook PCs and is expected to run at speeds of up to 1.6GHz.
But now notebooks running Banias will only contain a Calexico module with an 802.11a chip, and a 802.11b chip from Philips.
Despite reports that the change is due to engineering and regulatory issues, Intel told vnunet.com it is taking a "two-tiered" approach to the launch of Banias.
"In the first quarter of next year the Banias product launch will include a 802.11b chip on the motherboard," explained an Intel spokesman.
"Later next year Banias will have an 802.11a piece of silicon on the motherboard.
"Basically, when Banias launches, some of the wireless capabilities will come from in-house and some from external sources."
IDC analyst Shane Rau said: "It was my understanding that Calexico would be dual-band from the start.
"That it won't be is a bit of a setback for Intel's wireless chip strategy because I believe that dual-band a and b will become a standard offering in wireless-enabled notebook PCs.
"In the big picture, Intel is new to this market and the market itself is new.
"While the delay will give competitors better opportunity to compete in providing the wireless silicon, Intel will already provide, naturally, all of the processors and probably all of the core logic chipsets into Banias notebooks.
"That's a big portion of the silicon in a notebook PC."
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