IDF - Intel adds WiMax, 3G support to Linux device plans

Intel plans to offer WiMax and 3G support as options for ultraportable devices running Windows or Linux.

Laptops aren't the only computers slated to get support for WiMax next year.

Intel is expected this week to announce plans to add the wide-area networking technology and support for 3G (third-generation) mobile technology as options for ultramobile PCs running Windows or Linux. The company also plans to add WiMax as an option to its Centrino notebook package next year.

The ultramobile PCs will be based on Intel's Menlow chip package, which includes the upcoming Silverthorne processor and single-chip Poulsbo chipset. Expected to be released in early 2008, the package is designed for ultramobile PCs running Windows or the Linux operating system.

Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, is expected to announce that WiMax, 3G and Wi-Fi will be available as options with Menlow for ultramobile PCs during a scheduled keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Chandrasekher is scheduled to be joined on stage during his speech by Mark Shuttleworth, the founder and CEO of Canonical, which distributes the Ubuntu version of Linux. Shuttleworth plans to use the opportunity to unveil an alpha version of Ubuntu designed for small, portable computers.

If Intel's aim to popularize ultraportable PCs based on Linux takes off with end users this will have far-reaching implications by expanding the number of people that use Linux beyond technology enthusiasts to the mainstream, and treading into territory coveted by Microsoft.

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