Intel, iPass sign agreement for Banias users

Notebooks with Intel Corp.'s forthcoming Banias mobile processor will be certified to work with future versions of Internet access software from iPass Inc., the companies announced Monday.

The goal of the multiyear collaboration agreement is to enable users of Banias-based notebooks to access the Internet through the same software interface for either wireless "hot spots" or more traditional access methods such as dial-up connections, they said.

Banias is the first mobile processor designed by Intel specifically for a mobile environment. It will come with a wireless chip known as Calexico for access to both 802.11b and 802.11a wireless networks, and eventually include wireless connectivity directly on the main processor. Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, will release Banias in the first half of 2003, and notebooks with the processor are expected later that year.

The iPassConnect software lets mobile workers connect to the Internet through a variety of methods, including the public wireless Internet access points known as hot spots. As part of the agreement, iPass, based in Redwood Shores, California, will certify the Banias processor for use with its software.

The companies did not specify the length or terms of the agreement. Intel is funding a separate company, Cometa Networks, that will help deploy hot spots throughout the U.S., it announced earlier this month.

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Tom Krazit

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