It's Final: No WiFi In "Grantsdale" Chipset@ 2004/09/26
Intel decided to phase out the once heavily-touted feature because of the prevalence of low-cost access points available from third parties, spokesman Dan Snyder said. Snyder called the move a business decision, and not one of the slip and missteps that has plagued Intel this year.
"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.
"They just didn't see the value in it," Snyder said.
Although the wireless "Grantsdale" chipset was promoted as just another means of advancing the wireless infrastructure, OEMs initially declined to use the technology, citing security concerns. Intel had already agreed to turn the wireless AP portion of the chipset off by default, preventing an intruder from accessing the network through an unsecured WiFi back door.
Intel will halt manufacture of the Intel 915/925X wireless-enabled chipsets, which include a "W" suffix to indicate the presence of the special connector to the wireless module, which analysts have called virtually identical to the daughtercard used in the early Centrino mobile chipsets. Intel will also halt development on the software drivers and utilities designed for the AP, as well as the desktop WiFi daughtercard itself, Snyder said. OEMs still have the option to source a discrete WiFi radio and software from a third party, however, he said.
Intel's Centrino plans and production remain unaffected, Snyder said.
The company may still develop a custom chipset to re-enable the WiFi functionality if a large customer requests it, Snyder said. For now, however, the company has "no plans" to bring wireless back to the desktop, he said.