Intel just bought the WiFi tech loved by gamers-in-the-know

Chris Davies - May 21, 2020, 9:26am CDT
Intel just bought the WiFi tech loved by gamers-in-the-know

Intel has bought the company behind the Killer networking tech, promising to bring the gamer-favorite to a broader audience as it integrates it with its own WiFi products. Handiwork of Rivet Networks, the Killer brand has proved to be a perennial favorite for those wanting to squeeze out latency and maximize their bandwidth, particularly in gaming where milliseconds can mean the difference between winning and losing.

It’s led to the brand being offered in systems from a variety of big-name companies, like Alienware, Dell, Razer, MSI, and others. Although often most associated with hardware – including ethernet and WiFi controllers – it’s actually a combination of that and software.

The Killer Prioritization Engine, for example, can automatically identify games, apps, and certain websites, and focus bandwidth on them in particular. That way, for instance, games, downloads, or even things like voice and video chat can be made more stable. DoubleShot Pro, meanwhile, uses both an ethernet and a WiFi connection simultaneously, automatically sending the most important traffic via the fastest route, and saving the alternate one for everyday traffic.

Technologies like those are only going to become more important as the number of connected devices increases in both the home and the office. That’s a process that has probably been accelerated by a sudden jump in people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, too, and who are now expected to do business tasks on a connection previously only needed for home entertainment.

Intel says the Rivet Networks team will be joining the Wireless Solutions Group, part of its Client Computing Group. It’ll also be integrating the Killer brand into Intel’s wider portfolio of WiFi products.

“With the addition of Rivet Networks’ software, we will license its software to customers and develop new solutions for broader PC connectivity enhancement,” Chris Walker, corporate vice president and general manager of the Mobile Client Platforms Group, explains. “With Rivet Networks’ and Intel’s leading Wi-Fi products, we can scale our PC Wi-Fi portfolio to better serve our customers, ecosystem and channel partners.”

Rivet’s latest product is the Killer WiFi 6 AX1650, a WiFi 6 module that was actually co-developed with Intel. It combines Killer networking technology with Intel’s WiFi 6 chipset, into an M.2 module priced at $35. Compared to older WiFi devices, the company says, users could see up to three times more throughput when connected to a WiFi 6 router.

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