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HP notebooks get high-speed wireless LAN

Apr 01, 20032 mins

* HP notebook computers now have Broadcom's wireless LAN technology

Last week I mentioned that Broadcom’s Gigabit Ethernet chips were to be used in HP’s Compaq notebook computers. This week, the companies revealed that Broadcom’s high-speed wireless LAN technology will be integrated into other Compaq notebooks as well.

The technology in question is Broadcom’s 54g, which will be used in HP’s Compaq Presario 2100 and 2500 series notebooks. The 54g technology is Broadcom’s implementation of the IEEE 802.11g draft specification.

That spec, which is expected to be finalized later this year, could potentially change. It supports speeds up to 54M bit/sec, much faster than the widely used 802.11b, which tops out at around 11M bit/sec.

There seems to be considerable momentum around 802.11g, even though it hasn’t yet fully crystallized as a standard. It uses the same wireless band as 802.11b, at 2.4 GHz. However, the Wi-Fi Alliance, which has taken up the task of certifying wireless LAN products for interoperability, hasn’t tested early 802.11g gear.

As standard speeds increase for both wireless and wired client connections, users find that they don’t need quite as much capability as they can get these days. For instance, in response to last week’s Gigabit Ethernet announcement, one reader says:

“I would ask… why? Most users out there cant even fill 100M bit/sec yet, let alone Gigabt Ethernet… The current trench of TCP/IP stacks have not really changed for 10 years(?). This severely limits the throughput on the NIC to about 450M bit/sec, if you are lucky. This is not getting best value out of the NICs nor the GE connections in the data switch – money down the toilet.”