Intel looks to multi-radio integration

Intel looks to multi-radio integration

Small devices need to handle a mixture of wireless radio standards

Intel is researching multi-radio technology in an attempt to enable adaptable and power-efficient radio technology.

Krishnamurthy Soumyanath, director of the Communications Technology Lab at Intel, spoke about the 'radio evolution' at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.

The company has achieved "significant milestones" in developing low-cost digital multi-radios that will connect the mobile devices of the future.

The essential premise is to allow small devices to handle a mixture of wireless radio technology standards from just one chip that consumes less power than today's bulky analogue versions.

Soumyanath explained that the platform consists of three distinct elements: the processor; the IO controller; and the radio chip.

However, having these as separate components adds complexity, cost, size and power consumption.

In order to create a smaller silicon footprint, with less power consumption, lower cost, fewer connections and less complexity, these discrete components need to be integrated into a single platform-on-chip.

Two prototypes were showcased during the IDF presentation. The first is a multi-band, power efficient CMOS transceiver that incorporates earlier digital wireless communications research.

The second is a power amplifier combined with a spectrum sensing analogue-to-digital converter.

Soumyanath acknowledged many hurdles that need to be overcome in order to seamlessly connect the next generation of mobile devices if manufacturers want to meet the growing connectivity and longevity demands of their customers.