During Dadi Perlmutter's keynote address at IDF, the Senior VP and GM of Intel's Mobility Group spoke of vPro technology on notebooks and the progress being made with WiFi and other wireless technologies.
Intel sees vPro as an important feature for the corporate environment, where computers need to be easily managed, especially where there's a problem. One of the parts of vPro Intel are shouting about right now is Active Management Technology, where problems are actively diagnosed and fixed, or if there's a security risk from, say, a virus, affected machines can be isolated.
Perlmutter explained that Intel's 4th gen Centrino platform - Santa Rosa - would support Intel's AMT over its wireless network interface. It looks like Intel's Centrino and vPro branding might overlap somewhat as a result.
Moving on to wireless, Perlmutter spoke of Santa Rosa's 802.11n WiFi support. It's got 300Mbps of throughput via two Tx and three Rx units, using Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO). Intel's been testing its 802.11n hardware as per the WiFi Alliances guidelines, but has also been field testing it in the real world with wireless networking hardware manufacturers in an effort to guarantee interoperability.
In other wireless technologies, Intel is going to be using a Nokia HSDPA module in laptops to give users Internet access when not within range of a WiFi access point. Look forward a couple of years and it's all about WiMAX.
Come 2008, Perlmuller said that WiFi and WiMAX support would be combined into a single wireless chip, by which point mobile service provider Sprint will have setup a WiMAX network with the potential to provide wireless access to 100 million people.
With WiMAX and WiFi working in unison, Intel's future Centrino platforms will provide constant high bandwidth Internet access and very high bandwidth LAN connectivity to cope with pipe guzzling media like HD content.