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Intel Unwires Panda Reserve In Wolong

Intel Corporation has deployed a campus-wide broadband and wireless communications network within China's Wolong Nature Reserve–one of the last protected homes for the world's giant panda–to aid researchers in the study, care and preservation of the endangered species.

In addition to improving the communications network at Wolong, Intel is collaborating with GLOBIO, an international education nonprofit organization, to create a learning lab that will allow children around the world to study, collaborate and interact in creative new ways.

Researchers are now using Intel Centrino Mobile technology-based notebook PCs to manage and manipulate the digital content, including photos, video and data of the pandas.

Wolong Nature Reserve is one of the last-protected homes for the world's giant pandas. Located in the mountains of the Sichuan Province, the reserve cares for nearly 20 percent of the world's remaining 1,500 giant pandas while serving as the site for conducting daily research on panda breeding and bamboo ecology.

Prior to the new technology infrastructure, communication in and around the reserve was limited to some cellular access, and dial-up access in the nursing area. Often the most efficient method for moving data was walking a floppy disk hundreds of yards across the reserve, or driving it several kilometers to a waiting researcher. As a result, research teams relied on paper notebooks to chart vital statistics on each infant's health and growth and had limited access to file details in the field.

Over the past few months, Intel worked closely with Wolong to deploy the campus-wide communications network that includes an 802.11b wireless LAN network. The network allows Wolong researchers greater access to data, such as a video monitoring system using five cameras so researchers can more effectively observe the pandas' activities around the clock and share data quickly with colleagues around the world.

As part of the Wolong initiative, Intel worked closely with GLOBIO to create the GLOBIO and Intel Children's Learning Lab (CLL) within the Wolong Giant Panda Museum of China. Intel unwired the CLL and donated Intel Centrino mobile technology-based laptops, which will be used by local teachers and students from Wolong's Sha Wan and Geng Da Central Primary Schools.

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