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Intel expands its Wi-Fi chip technology

Intel on Friday unveiled chip technology designed to support all current Wi-Fi standards as well as those expected in the future.

Intel on Friday unveiled chip technology designed to support all current and projected Wi-Fi standards, moving the chip giant closer to its vision of one chip for all radios.

The chip technology prototype will support Wi-Fi standards ranging from the current 802.11a to standards requirements expected for 802.11n. The all-CMOS direct conversion dual-band radio transceiver moves Intel closer toward its goal of offering one chip that can handle multiple radios in a single device.

"The variable bandwidth of this solution extends capabilities beyond today's 20MHz to 100MHz and is expected to support data rates higher than 100 megabits per second that should allow people to enjoy multiple high-quality video streams concurrently," Krishnamurthy Soumyanath, Intel communications circuits research lab director, said in a statement.

Devices today use a customized radio to connect to a specific network, such as a wireless local area network or a wide area network. But rather than use one CMOS radio per device to connect to these networks, Intel foresees a day when several different radios will be contained in a mobile device to access Wi-Fi networks.

Intel, which announced its technology as part of a technical paper presented at the Symposium on VLSI Technology in Japan, created the technology around the CMOS, or complementary metal oxide semiconductor, standard.

By tying its technology to the CMOS standard, Intel said, the company will be able to keep manufacturing costs low and retain the ability to produce the chips in high volume.

Intel bundled its chip technology into a system-in-a-package design, which lowers the voltages required and extends battery life. The system-in-a-package also can be integrated into a device at a lower cost, the chip giant noted.