Intel will stick a pre-standard version of 802.11n into its Centrino chips by next year.

The announcement came during a presentation at the IEEE Globecom 2006 Expo in San Francisco yesterday where Alan Crouch, general manager of Intel's Communications Technology, was giving a speech.

The IEEE 802.11n standard, which is not expected to be ratified before the first half of 2008, gives users far greater performance and range than current Wi-Fi technology. The technology will someday scale to 600Mbit/s, according to Bill McFarland, a member of the IEEE committee, with a range 50 percent greater than available with Wi-Fi now.

The announcement caused barely a ripple in the audience of software and hardware engineers, in part thanks to a number of wireless vendors already pulling the standard into their products, but there are a number of analysts warning people to resist the temptation to deploy high speed 802.11n devices until the standard is ratified.

Gartner's Ken Dulaney, among others, said that a pre-standard version might be fine for the home where the technology exists as a closed loop, but in an enterprise with a heterogeneous wireless environment it could lead to inter-operability problems down the road.

Continuing on a theme of emerging technologies, Crouch also touted the benefits of UWB (Ultra Wideband), a short range, three metres, wireless technology, which he said will start to gain recognition next year.

With UWB's short range and high performance and with the first devices capable of 480Mbit/s, Crouch predicted consumer electronics companies will quickly take up the technology.