IBM reaffirms Bluetooth commitment

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IBM reaffirms Bluetooth commitment
By CNET News.com Staff
June 28, 2001, 12:15 p.m. PT
SINGAPORE–IBM has promised Bluetooth-integrated notebooks in the near future, reiterating its commitment to the wireless technology.

Arimasa Naitoh, director of portable systems in IBM’s Asia-Pacific division, said Wednesday that selected models of its top-of-the-line ThinkPad A series will have integrated Bluetooth antennas sometime in the “next few quarters.” Bluetooth is a wireless networking technology that allows devices in a 30-foot range to transmit data between one another.

Currently, the wireless technology is available as a PC Card for IBM ThinkPads. Big Blue also expects to release in Asia during the third quarter a Bluetooth device for the UltraPort, a USB (universal serial bus) port located above the ThinkPad screen.
This Bluetooth UltraPort module is already available in the United States.

Several companies–including Nokia and Palm–have announced Bluetooth-enabled products, but the global standard hit a low earlier this year when Microsoft decided to exclude support for it in the upcoming Windows XP operating system.

There are also questions about Bluetooth’s role, with the emergence of rival wireless platform 802.11b.

Naitoh added that notebook processors will continue to show typical advances, increasing to a speed of 3GHz within the next three years.

CNET Singapore’s Aloysius Choong reported from Singapore.

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