Linux drivers for Intel's mobile Centrino chipset are due in the second half of 2004, Intel officials said Wednesday. Intel Corp. posted the version 0.1 "pre-beta" Linux driver code for its 802.11b/g Wi-Fi on SourceForge last Friday, complementing the 802.11b Linux driver code that has already been made available. An Intel representative said the final driver code is tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2004. Although Intel's Centrino platform–comprising a Pentium M processor, chipset and Wi-Fi component–dominates the thin-and-light notebook market, the technology currently runs stably only under Microsoft Corp.'s Windows.
According to the posting on SourceForge, the Linux driver "is intended to be a community effort as much as is possible, given some working constraints," namely the lack of hardware documentation. Intel's 802.11b Centrino Linux drivers have reached version 0.45, including some basic support for ad hoc networking, while the 802.11a/b drivers are currently in a version 0.1 status. Intel hasn't begun a public open-source Linux driver program for its 802.11a/b/g drivers, Intel spokeswoman Barbara Grimes said. Grimes confirmed that the drivers will be released under an open-source model, although she was unable to say which open-source license model would govern the release.
News source: eWeek