Intel drops Wi-Fi from chipset plans

— 3:45 AM on September 27, 2004

Citing a lack of OEM demand, Intel is phasing out its Wi-Fi-enabled ICH6RW south bridge chip. Intel will continue to offer the Wi-Fi-less ICH6R, though. Here's the spin, straight from Intel:

"Basically we talked to a lot of OEM customers, and they told us that they didn't need this feature at this point," Snyder said. "So many wireless APs are out there, and they're essentially free" when purchased in conjunction with DSL or cable service from an ISP, he said.
Although I can see why Intel's OEM customers may have little interest in the ICH6RW, it's disappointing that the south bridge chip won't get a second lease on life in enthusiast-oriented boards. With Asus bundling an 802.11g PCI card with several high-end boards, including ones based on Intel's 925X and 915P chipsets, a market certainly exists. I can't help but wonder if all the dual GigE boards that are popping up would be more attractive if manufacturers replaced one of the GigE chips with a little 802.11g Wi-Fi, too.
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