Intel Integrating Wi-Fi On Atom Chips

Intel’s move into the mobile, low-power sector currently dominated by ARM-based chips is continuing to gather momentum with the company revealing plans to bake wireless capabilities into it chips.

The company is set to reveal more details about a dual-core Atom processor codenamed Rosepoint at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference currently being held in San Francisco.

The new chips, which Intel says won’t be available until the middle of this decade, should allow for smaller, more power-efficient and cheaper smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the future.

Intel Atom Rosepoint

While the Rosepoint chip will only have Wi-Fi baked in, Intel has also indicated that it is working on future Atom chips which will add 3G/4G radios which follows on from the company’s purchase of Infineon Technologies’ wireless division for $1.4 billion last year.

While this is new territory for Intel, ARM-based chips, such as the S4 Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm, have Wi-Fi and 3G/4G radios already integrated. These chips, along with similar silicon from Nvidia and Texas Instruments will be seen running Windows 8 later this year as the lines become blurred between Intel and ARM-based chips.

Placing a digital Radio Frequency (RF) chip right next to a low-power Atom CPU as Intel has managed with the Rosepoint chip will allow the company to shrink them down in the future, which would have been a lot tougher with an analogue Wi-Fi chip.

However this throws up its own issues as wireless radios and CPUs do not make the best partners when placed close to each other. Both emit radiation that interferes with the other but Intel has come up with some noise cancelling and radiation-shielding techniques for the chips.

Source: Wired

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