by Anton Shilov
09/18/2012 | 11:53 PM
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.