by Anton Shilov
09/13/2012 | 11:48 PM
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.
"In the future, if it computes, it connects. From the simplest embedded sensors to the most advanced cloud datacenters, we are looking at techniques to allow all of them to connect without wires," said Justin Rattner, chief technology officer of Intel, at Intel Developer Forum.
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.
Mr. Rattner demonstrated for the first time a working, all-digital Wi-Fi radio, dubbed a "Moore's Law Radio". The CTO explained that an all-digital radio follows Moore's Law by scaling in area and energy efficiency with such digital chip processes as Intel's latest 22nm tri-gate technology. System-on-chip designs for smartphones and tablet computers would be the most likely spot for the all digital radios to be integrated.
The small size and lower cost of integrated digital radios will enable a host of new applications from wearable devices to "the Internet of things" where devices such as home appliances with sensors can communicate with each other, exchange data and can be operated remotely.
The chief technologist of Intel went on to describe a next-generation wireless standard called WiGig that operates in the millimeter wavelengths of the radio spectrum and delivers bandwidths well over 5Gb/s. The WiGig standard is an industry-wide effort to consolidate a number of proprietary 60GHz wireless technologies under the existing Wi-Fi standard.
"WiGig is so fast it will let you wirelessly dock your enabled ultrabook, tablet or smartphone without wires. Even multiple displays can be docked at one time," said Mr. Rattner.
The first WiGig devices are projected to hit the market in the second half of 2013.