Tuesday 21 February 2012

Intel 'Rosepoint' Atom chips to sport onboard Wi-Fi.

Intel is all set to showcase its new Atom SoC, this year, at the ISSCC 2012 in San Francisco. The chip in question is said to have a built-in transceiver, along with two cores, right next to each other on the same chip. Currently the chip is just in early research stages, but ‘Rosepoint’ (as it’s called) could make it to mobile devices like cell phones or tablets one day. This is quite a breakthrough for Intel, as shrinking down a whole 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio on the same SoC, as the CPU cores hasn’t been done before.

The new chips is built using Intel’s 32nm fabrication process, which also makes it a lot more power efficient, as compared to a traditional Wi-Fi chip found on today’s smartphones and tablets. Shrinking down a Wi-Fi radio will only help mobile devices that currently struggle to achieve a good battery life. “With a digital approach to radio, you can bring the benefits of Moore’s law to RF and radio circuits,” says Intel Chief Technology Officer, Justin Rattner. This breakthrough also means tougher competition with existing radio manufacturers, like Broadcom. Pairing Wi-Fi radio and a CPU together on the same die is not that simple, since both emit radiation, which could interfere with the another. In order to make this work, Intel has had to do some serious shielding between the chips. There were talks about putting both the chips on a single die, but apparently it’s too early for that and we won’t be seeing that solution, at least for a couple of years now.

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