Intel’s Repoint integrates Wi-Fi on chip
Integrating wireless radios such as Wi-Fi with the processor could lead to smaller, cheaper devices. (Credit: Intel)
Intel appears to have taken a significant step toward competing in the mobile space.
The chip company is showing off its Rosepoint project at ISSCC this week. This is a 32nm system-on-chip (SoC) design that puts a dual-core Intel Atom processor right next to a digital Wi-Fi radio. Compared with the typical analog Wi-Fi chips that are available now, Intel claims that its digital version can be miniaturized more easily. It will also cost less to shrink them to fit mobile devices.
This breakthrough didn’t come easy because wireless radios and processors both emit radiation that tend to interfere with each other. As a result, Intel had to invent new radiation-shielding and noise-canceling methods to enable both components to exist on the same chip. The company is also looking into adding a digital cellular radio chip in the near future.
Such developments could eventually lead to smaller and more power-efficient mobile chips that will also cost less to manufacture, though Intel isn’t expecting this technology to reach the market for at least another three years.
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