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At the Intel Developer Forum last week Justin Rattner, chief technology officer of Intel, demonstrated an experimental system-on-chip with integrated Wi-Fi transceiver. This is the first example of Intel's nearly-all-digital radio, but it is unclear whether the chip will actually become available.

Intel Rosepoint system-on-chip features two Intel Atom cores (presumably based on Saltwell micro-architecture), integrated DDR3 memory controller, built-in PCI Express 2.0 x4 controller, miscellaneous input/output capabilities as well as digital 802.11g Wi-Fi transceiver. Potentially, such chip could power various netbooks, but given the fact that it lacks integrated video and graphics processing capabilities, it will hardly ever make it to mass market. In fact, Rosepoint will likely be a test vehicle for Intel's wireless all-digital radio or a base for certain special-purpose devices.

During the demonstration at IDF, two Intel Rosepoint-based test systems connected to each-other using Wi-Fi 802.11g and were transmitting and receiving a video stream. The show worked fine and the movie was never interrupted, which probably means that the nearly-all-digital Wi-Fi transceiver works just like traditional one.

If currently the digital transceiver only supports 802.11g/2.40GHz radio, then going forward it is logical to expect Intel to integrate Wi-Fi, WiGig, 3G, 4G/LTE and other technologies.

Virtually all modern devices have cables, either for charging or for transferring data or both. Intel Corp. believes that in the future all equipment have to be completely wireless, whether it is a laptop, a display or something else. To achieve that, Intel wants to integrate radio in every applicable chip it makes, which essentially adds wireless tech to any client chip these days, given the trend towards highly-integrated system-on-chip devices.

A key to enable radio and wireless data transfer in every device possible, whether it is a notebook or a remote controller for TV, cost efficiently is to implement it using common building blocks that are used to make microprocessors. The thinner manufacturing technology is, the less expensive wireless radio blocks will be.

Tags: Intel, Atom, 32nm, Rosepoint, Wi-Fi, WiGig

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 09/19/12 06:24:19 AM
Latest comment: 09/19/12 04:54:37 PM
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1. 
hmm, did they ran out of ideas to stuff to integrate in the chip.

Why not add MOAAAAAAR COARES

I can buy and USB that will enable Wifi and 3G support for 10 USD
0 2 [Posted by: medo  | Date: 09/19/12 07:05:14 AM]
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Agreed, what device that has a use for wireless these days doesn't have it yet? Every smart phone and laptop has wireless already. Besides that, my TV remote and other stuff like that has no business on the www (my TV maybe, but the remote? I think not).

Though in the end it is fun to be able to control everything in your house with a smart phone/tablet/laptop/computer because it's all networked.
0 1 [Posted by: whythisname  | Date: 09/19/12 07:32:05 AM]
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2. 
zero-if / near zero-if / direct conversion has been around a long time; brcm / qcom / freescale / marvell all had this stuff for cell phones / wifi working 8 or 9 years ago. nothing really new here. just intel marketing.
0 0 [Posted by: bobbytsia  | Date: 09/19/12 08:45:09 AM]
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3. 
The primary reason for moving the transceiver to the main core is to reduce power consumption.

First, going off-chip for anything increases power consumption due to bus loading and the higher voltages required. Adding the transceiver to the main core eliminates this waste.

Second, integrating the transceiver into the main core permits finer grained control of power used by the block, both by powering portions of the block up or down, or by adjusting the frequency at which it runs.

Lastly, integrating the transceiver into the main core allows the block to run at lower core voltages, again significantly affecting power use.

Remember, power use is dictated by Freq * Voltage^2 (plus a few other terms.) Consequently linear reduction of the frequency and voltage will lead to a *cubed* reduction in power consumption. Which is hugely important for battery operated mobile devices.
0 0 [Posted by: IntelInside  | Date: 09/19/12 04:54:36 PM]
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