An estimated 1,200 customers are expected to join in the market trial, which begins next month. The software is meant to run on the ISPs' servers at network access points on the Web. The software speeds up the downloading of Web pages by searching for graphical images and "compressing them by removing unnecessary data bits," Intel says.
It also seeks to reduce downloading time through caching technology. Another feature involves a "Web-O-Meter," which indicates how much speed is gained using the technology.
A common complaint among Netizens is that it takes too long to download Web pages. Many analysts see the problem as major impediment to the Net's growth.
So-called Web accelerators are among the hottest tools on the Internet. But these products must be added to user's personal computers.
They typically rely on technologies such as compression, encapsulation, read-ahead browsing, and intelligent caching to speed up the process of downloading Web pages in real time. Peak Technologies, for example, offers software that works with Web browsers to increase the speed of downloading new sites and improving modem performance.
Intel's software would represent a new line of business for the company, although it fits with the company's strategy to build sideline businesses that support PC chip sales.
Intel declined comment. (The company is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.)