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Converged Technologies Fuel Future Wireless Growth

Intel Silicon Innovation, Converged Technologies Fuel Future Wireless Communication Growth

At the final keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose (US), Intel outlined its plans to continue to accelerate the convergence of computing and communications through silicon innovation.

Speaking at the Forum, Senior Vice President and Intel Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Pat Gelsinger outlined Intel’s “Radio Free Intel” approach for integrating radios into future processors and for developing adaptive radio platforms, making wireless communication ubiquitous. Additionally, Eric Mentzer, Intel vice president and CTO of the Intel Communications Group, discussed Intel’s plans to accelerate the deployment of broadband wireless infrastructure worldwide.

“Over the next decade, the majority of the world will communicate wirelessly,” Gelsinger said. “Intel is accelerating the convergence of computing and communication by bringing the benefits of lower cost, scalability and faster-pace-of-innovation to radio technology. As a result, wireless communication will become truly ubiquitous and transparent to the user, making a flexible, high-capacity, standards-based wireless infrastructure even more crucial.”

The Renaissance of Radios Intel believes that in the future ubiquitous, wireless communication will be enabled through the deployment of industry standards and will be powered by Intel silicon and technology building blocks. Gelsinger indicated Intel is fueling the “renaissance of radios” by making significant progress to develop silicon radios using industry-leading low-cost, scalable manufacturing process technology.

The company said it successfully developed core radio components using its 0.18-micron digital CMOS process, including the world’s fastest voltage controlled oscillator (a radio component that determine the frequency at which signals are transmitted and received) in CMOS operating at speeds greater than 75 GHz. By building these and other analog radio components with a digital manufacturing process, Intel aims to lower the cost of adding wireless capabilities to future products.

While silicon radios are at the heart of the Radio Free Intel strategy, Intel is also developing a radio platform that will adapt to its environment and its user. Intel has already achieved success toward the development of an adaptive radio platform and has created key innovations in the areas of channel estimation, adaptive modulation techniques and smart antennas to optimise the throughput, range, power and ultimately, the performance of wireless communication. These innovations help to ensure development, adoption and co-existence of global wireless standards.

Intel is also playing a significant role in the development of 802.11n, a next-generation WLAN technology with significantly higher throughput. The new WLAN standard would enable approximately three times the performance of current 802.11 solutions, allowing users to transfer more data wirelessly in a set period of time.

In addition, the company is researching adaptive communication technologies for future devices that communicate with each other transparently while also adapting to the dynamic needs of the user. Gelsinger said that this new class of mobile devices, called “universal communicators” will transparently and seamlessly connect to multiple networks and services. He demonstrated seamless roaming across WLAN and WWAN networks using a universal communicator prototype developed by Intel researchers.

Broadband Wireless Infrastructure In his keynote address, Mentzer explained how wireless technology is an important element of Intel’s corporate focus on the convergence of computing and communications. Intel’s wireless product plans for 2004 will further advance broadband wireless technology.

Future wireless networking products for the Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology platform include an 802.11b/g wireless networking component that will be in production before the end of 2003, and an 802.11a/b/g wireless networking component that will be in production in the first half of 2004.

Intel’s efforts to develop silicon based on the IEEE 802.16a* standard will provide a broadband wireless access alternative to existing “last mile” methods such as cable and digital subscriber lines (DSL). The IEEE 802.16a standard is a wireless broadband access technology that links Wi-Fi hotspots and provides broadband wireless connectivity to businesses and homes.

“It is expected that networks based on the 802.16a standard will have a range up to 30 miles and the ability to transfer data, voice and video at speeds of up to 70 Megabits-per-second (Mbps),” Mentzer said. Intel has signed agreements with leading OEM’s in broadband wireless access equipment to deliver low-cost WiMAX-certified equipment based on Intel 802.16a silicon in the second half of 2004.

About IDF The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Intel and Intel Centrino are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

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