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Tue, Mar 09, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Intel may modify Centrino for China

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Intel Corp, the world's largest maker of semiconductors, said it may have to modify its Centrino chips in China because of a law forcing imports to use local encryption technology.

Intel is "deeply concerned" over the use of Chinese technology to meet specifications for WAPI, or wireless authentication and privacy infrastructure, and is talking with Chinese officials on the matter, Intel chief technology officer Patrick Gelsinger said at a press conference in Seoul.

"If the law stands in place, Centrino would require support" of Chinese technology, Gelsinger said. Still, "Intel has not said positively or negatively whether we would do that or not."

US officials asked China to drop plans to implement a law going into effect June 1 that would require all wireless imports to carry encryption technology produced only in China, which would limit sales of products ranging from pagers to laptop computers, the Asian Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The Centrino laptop chip was the centerpiece of Intel's marketing and sales efforts last year. The company spent US$300 million advertising the chipset for wireless laptops to promote mobile computing.

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