After keeping operators and users alike waiting for nearly a year, Intel has begun production of a wireless chipset, called Kilmer Peak, that will support three versions of WiMax, 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz.
Intel's current WiMax chipsets only support the 2.5GHz version of WiMax, which is used markets like Japan, the US and Taiwan. The company doesn't yet support the 2.3GHz profile, which is used by operators in South Korea and Malaysia, or the 3.5GHz version used in Pakistan. That will change with Kilmer Peak.
"Kilmer Peak is in production and will launch with the Calpella Arrandale notebook platform solution in Q1 2010," Intel spokesman Barry Sum wrote in an email, adding that the chipset will support the three WiMax profiles.
"As for the availability of notebooks with Kilmer Peak built in, it's more appropriate for you to check with the OEMs after the official launch in Q1," he wrote.
Intel has been promising support for more WiMax profiles for some time, but hasn't delivered any products.
In an August 2008 interview, Garth Collier, Intel Asia-Pacific's general manager for WiMax, told IDG News Service that support for the 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz profiles would likely be available in 2009, but a definite release date would depend on user demand.
One month later, at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan, Intel showed off pictures of its upcoming Evans Peak WiMax chipset alongside signs that said it will support all three WiMax profiles. However, Evans Peak - which is part of Intel's upcoming Atom-based Moorestown platform, due next year - isn't yet on the market.
Intel said there has been no delay in its plans to offer support for the 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz versions of WiMax.
Earlier Intel comments about a 2009 release were an "oversimplification" of the company's release plans, Sum said, noting that the scheduled 2010 release for Evans Peak is consistent with previous statements that Moorestown would ship in either 2009 or 2010.