It looks like Intel has finally made some moves toward newly appointed 802.11ac wireless for its notebooks. In 2013 Intel plans to release a card that will support this feature.
The card is codenamed Wilkins Peak 2 and is a 2x2 AC wireless card with support for Bluetooth. The fastest speed it’s capable of is 867Mbps in 2x2 AC mode but naturally it supports 802.11N. It also supports some common features such as Intel wireless display, Intel My Wi-Fi technology as well as Intel smart connect tech.
Early adopters of Windows 8 will be happy to hear that this card supports Windows 8 connected standby. It supports dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz, multi stream, Intel vPro as well as Bluetooth 4. It comes as a PCIe or USB device in Half Minicard Next gen FF form.
Wilkins Peak 1 will take you all the way up to 433Mbps, as it has a 1x1 AC configuration and with one antenna you cannot get more than 433Mbps. It will definitely be a cheaper choice but on the first look in won’t support Intel vPro or Windows 8 connected standby. The rest of the spec is similar to Wilkins Peak 2.
Interestingly enough Intel has three additional cards codenamed Wilkins Peak 2 and these cards are 2x2 300Mbps b/g/n cards with or without Bluetooth.
Wilkins Peak 2x2 AC 867Mbit cards are compatible with Shark Bay 1 chip or 2 chip platforms that will debut in the middle of 2013, or late Q3 2013 if all stays at original schedule. New 4510 and 4410 Thunderbolt ports are planned for Q3 2013.