SAN FRANCISCO -- During the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) here today, Intel Corp. announced a new effort to enable its long-awaited "connected PC" vision by deploying its vast R&D resources into what the company calls "Radio Free Intel."
Intel's "Radio Free Intel" concept is not geared to provide propaganda to third world countries over the radio waves, but rather it describes the company's new, ambitious R&D efforts into the radio-frequency (RF), software-defined radio, and related wireless sectors.
The concept will also drive "Moore's Law" and one day connect PCs, cellular phones, and other devices via RF, software-defined radios, and related technologies. Devised by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, "Moore's Law" is a popular axiom that says the transistor count of a processor will double every 18 months.
Intel's "Radio Free Intel" concept somewhat resembles the long-awaited cell-phone-on-a-chip product, that is, the ability to integrate an entire cellular phone on a single device. Today's cellular phones do not consist of a single-chip device. Instead, they consist of hundreds of components, including the baseband processor, RF, power amplifiers, and others.
In Intel's "Radio Free Intel" concept, however, the company takes the cell-phone-on-a-chip vision a step further. Future processors will one day integrate RF devices, software-defined radios, and technologies, thereby enabling PCs and other devices to be connected over high-speed wireless local-area networks, said Pat Gelsinger, chief technology officer at Intel, during a keynote address at IDF on Thursday here.
"When I say 'Radio Free Intel,' I mean that radios are integrated into every product," Gelsinger said.
Within Intel Labs, in fact, Gelsinger said that Intel has demonstrated a "complete radio technology" on a single chip at 10-GHz--based on traditional silicon. "We are talking about silicon, not silicon-germanium or gallium-arsenide," he said.
Intel is also conducting research in software-defined or configurable radios--in silicon, according to Gelsinger. For years, the military have used software-defined radios to enable systems to support multiple frequencies and protocols, but this technology has yet to be realized in the commercial markets.