Intel Corporation today announced plans to invest $150 million in companies developing Wi-Fi technology. Wi-Fi technology, also called 802.11, is an emerging technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access in many locations around the world.
‘Wi-Fi use is experiencing explosive growth. Estimates show that it could grow to 30 million laptops equipped with Wi-Fi capability in three years,’ said Intel Executive Vice President and Intel Capital President Les Vadasz. ‘It will fundamentally change the way people use technology and enable high-speed Internet access anytime, anywhere for business and consumer use.’
Intel is said to have made significant investments internally and externally in a number of wireless programs focused on establishing industry-wide, global technical standards, developing wireless products, and seeding market development.
Examples include designing wireless capabilities into products; working with other companies to establish standards to solve wireless security and ease-of-use technical problems; equipping Intel offices and factories with wireless network access points; making venture investments; and researching advanced wireless technologies like smart antennas and intelligent roaming.
‘Wi-Fi is one of the ripest areas for innovation in the industry,’ said Pat Gelsinger, Intel Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. ‘Intel will continue to play a key role in its development through investments, research, industry programs and products.’
The Intel Communications Fund will invest in companies developing hardware and software products and services that enable easier-to-use and more secure wireless network connections, simpler billing procedures, a more robust network infrastructure, and new ways to connect to high-speed networks outdoors and to deliver services run over the network.
The Intel Communications Fund, managed by Intel Capital, was established in September 1999 and focuses on accelerating Intel voice and data communications initiatives. The $500 million fund will devote $150 million specifically for investment in Wi-Fi companies worldwide.