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Networking

AMD gets behind free hot spots

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices begins providing advertising and promotional support to operators of free hot spots as it explores a variety of ways to promote its Wi-Fi wireless networking technology.

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices has taken to supporting operators of free hot spots as it explores a variety of ways to promote its Wi-Fi wireless networking technology.

AMD representatives confirmed Friday that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has been providing advertising and promotional support to some hot-spot locations, which have been displaying an AMD logo. The company plans to make a formal announcement of its intentions later this year but is still in the process of completing its plans. AMD's efforts will be worldwide, but only in key regions, where there is specific demand for hot-spot service, according to a representative.

Hot spots were initially set up haphazardly and were part of a grassroots effort to give communities free wireless broadband access to the Internet. Although this continues to happen in cities such as Portland, Ore., and San Jose, Calif., more and more companies have been installing secure networks and charging for the service.

AMD rival Intel has helped popularize Wi-Fi technology and increase interest around hot spots through a $300 million marketing campaign highlighting its Centrino bundle of chips. Intel's Centrino consists of a Pentium M processor, a chipset and Wi-Fi chips.

AMD sells Wi-Fi chips but does not bundle them with its processors. The company is looking at a variety of ways to promote its Wi-Fi chipsets, including possibly selling its processors, chipsets and Wi-Fi chips as part of a bundle similar to Centrino, according to Patrick Moorhead, vice president of corporate marketing for AMD.

CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report.