Intel plans to look towards new wireless network architectures which allow multiple frequency bands, including BlueTooth, Wi-Fi and the new WiMax to be converged seamlessly on a single chip.
At a technology briefing hosted at Intel's Developer Forum, Stephen Pawlowski, co-director of Intel's Communications and Interconnect Technology Lab, introduced the new technology as the 'agile and cognitive platform'. Not only will the system be able to function across multiple frequencies but it will also allow feedback on other features, such as geographic location.
According to Pawlowski, the first devices won't be seen for a few years yet and, leading up to the uni-radio chip design, Intel is focusing on getting 802.15 ultra wideband (UWB) out the door.
UWB is similar to BlueTooth in range and application, but with a reported maximum bandwidth up to 1Gb/s. Furthermore, as UWB is simply a radio module it can be integrated into current wireless protocols like BlueTooth to bring the speed up.
BlueTooth is a complete protocol stack, which includes the 2.4GHz radio component. By replacing the 2.4GHz module with UWB, BlueTooth can be used for higher bandwidth applications - a criticism of its current limited sub-1Mbp/s throughput.
Like BlueTooth, UWB has only a limited range (around 10m). Expect products late 2004, early 2005.
David Kidd travelled to the Intel Developer Forum courtesy of Intel.