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Intel unveils new network cards

A new line of Fast Ethernet network interface cards improve performance by up to 30 percent, Intel says.

    A new line of network cards from Intel (INTC) combines several related functions into one chip, improving performance by up to 30 percent, according to the company.

    The two new Fast Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) continue a push by the microprocessor giant into the networking market. Intel is in the midst of a heated battle with 3Com for market share in the NIC market; this year alone Intel has announced more than 20 related products.

    One adapter includes advanced management functions that allow a PC to be booted remotely using technology from IBM called Wake-on-LAN and the advanced configuration and power interface (ACPI). Support for the Desktop Management Task Force DMI (desktop management interface) specification and Intel's own Wired for Management technology is also included.

    By the first half of next year, Intel will offer software that allows data transmissions to be balanced across several NICs, according to company officials. The company will also support Fast EtherChannel technology from Cisco Systems. Both elements bring server system-style features to client-side adapters, Intel officials said.

    The EtherExpress Pro 100 adapter is available immediately through resellers for $84 in 80-unit packs. The adapter optimized for PC management will be available next quarter.