Intel: 'Moore's Law Radio' To Advance Wireless Computing


Intel took one step closer to making its "Internet of Things" vision a reality with the launch of its first-ever all-digital Wi-Fi radio and a next-generation wireless standard called WiGig.

The chip maker's latest innovations were showcased Thursday, during a closing keynote address given by Intel CTO Justin Rattner at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. Rattner detailed Intel's drive toward a completely wireless tech landscape, through which devices such as smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks can connect and communicate with one another cable-free.

"In the future, if it computes, it connects," Rattner told the crowd. "From the simplest embedded sensors to the most advanced cloud datacenters, we're looking at techniques to allow all of them to connect without wires."

[Related: Intel Charts Course To 10nm Chips By 2015]

The chip maker's new digital Wi-Fi radio, dubbed "Moore's Law Radio," was positioned by Rattner as being the first step toward enabling this always-connected, wireless world. The new radio follows Intel's Moore's Law development methodology for processors, meaning it will increase in performance and deliver lower levels of power consumption with each new iteration. The new technology will likely be integrated first into the processors used to power mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

"We have very, very strong focus on many aspects of mobility, and especially the communications aspect of mobility ... communicating wirelessly," Rattner said.

A Moore's Law digital Wi-Fi radio has been in the works for nearly 10 years inside Intel research labs, ever since former Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger first introduced the concept at IDF 2002. Rattner explained that the radio will pave the way for devices ranging from smartphones to the most sophisticated supercomputers to send signals and communicate wire-free.

What's more, digital Wi-Fi radios will also serve as the foundation for the "The Internet of Things," or the ability for devices and home appliances to wirelessly exchange data and be operated remotely.

Rattner also took the wraps off a new wireless standard called WiGig, which is part of a larger industry-wide effort to enable notebooks and other mobile devices to wirelessly connect to networks or peripherals, such as monitors. The new standard will also enable wireless docking stations for laptops when it comes to market next year, a capability that was demonstrated using a Samsung Ultrabook and two high-def monitors.

"WiGig is so fast it will let you wirelessly dock your enabled Ultrabook, tablet or smartphone without wires," Rattner said. "Even multiple displays can be docked at one time."

Rattner's address marked the final keynote in the three-day IDF event, during which Intel detailed its upcoming 22nm Haswell Core processors and its next-generation Xeon processors for servers. The chip maker also shed light on its latest wave of Ultrabooks, many of which tout new convertible, half-notebook, half-tablet form factors, slated for launch later this year and during the first half of 2013.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 13, 2012