Tech Industry

Intel, iPass team on wireless access

The chipmaker is working with Internet service provider iPass to help keep business travelers connected at all times.

Intel is working with Internet service provider iPass to help keep business travelers connected at all times.

The chipmaker and iPass, under a multiyear agreement announced Monday, will collaborate with the aim of improving access and usage of wireless networks used by the companies' business customers. iPass sells network and Internet services to businesses and other providers. The company has received funding from Intel.

The companies plan to test a forthcoming version of iPass' iPass Connect network/Internet access application with Intel's upcoming Banias processor and wireless networking cards for notebook PCs.

According to the companies, the testing process aims to help ensure compatibility between Intel notebooks and the iPass Connect software. The goal is to allow businesses' employees to quickly and seamlessly connect to the Internet from anywhere.

The forthcoming iPass Connect software also promises to make networking easier for traveling employees by allowing them to manage all of their various network connections, including wired and wireless, with one application.

Using the same application a person could be able to leave the office and check e-mail using a public wireless network at an airport, and then access the hotel network at his or her destination, the companies said.

The agreement also highlights a recent wireless push at Intel, which is increasingly delving into the market. The chipmaker's Banias processor will use less power, allowing notebooks to run longer while operating on batteries. Intel is also developing wireless networking gear to go with the Banias chip, including a module called Calexico that will allow notebook users to tap into 802.11a and 802.11b wireless networks.

Meanwhile, Intel is exploring several other wireless technologies as well, including possibly building radios into its chips, its executives said.

While iPass didn't give a date for the release of its new software, Intel is expected to release the Banias chip early next year. A host of PC makers, including companies such as Dell Computer, are expected to adopt the processor and, if they haven't already, begin providing wireless across the board on new notebooks.