INTEL WIFI CHIP

Intel wifi chip is a chip code named   as  rose-point. Rose-point design puts a digital 2.4Ghz wifi chip and dual core atom processor into a single chip .it as a big impact in digitization of communication. Wifi chip used here is digital in nature, the main aim of wifi chip is to increase power efficiency by removing unnecessary circuitary. Using wifi chip,it is possible for mobile devices like phone, tablets, laptops to be slimmer, less battery and reduced cost.

PROBLEMS ARISE  DURING  DESIGNING WIFI CHIP

Introducing  2.4Ghz  wifi radio and low power atom CPU onto a same chip, though it sounds simple, embedding the two components onto the same chip is not very easy.

Wifi chips are difficult to miniaturize because they are based upon  complex  analog  circuitary.

Both wifi and CPU can emit destruptive  variations ,these radiations sweeps into the RF-module and corrupts the data.

Traditional modem designs encooperate a large number of analog circuitary components such as synthesizers and amplifiers, this allows wireless modems to operate on large range of device voltages.

Electromagnetic frequency interference. The speed of wifi communications is close to speed of the CPU ‘s clock speed. The two portions of the chip could interfere with each other, leading to correction issues.

Elimination of radio wave emission that cause interference between two components.

METHODS ADAPTED BY INTEL TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS WHILE

DESIGNING THE WIFI CHIP

– Introducing   revised   silicon   modem  that uses only two voltages.

– En co-operating new anti-radiations and noise cancelling shielding to prevent the components from correcting each other.

– Introduction   of  wifi  that is in digital in  nature.

– Creation of   frequency synthesizers , sigma-delta analog to digital convertors, digital phase modulators and digital radio frequency power amplifiers.

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FIG:  Intel’s “PC On-Chip” includes dual Atom processor cores, and a complete RF WiFi transceiver.

Intel on chip system connects to various semiconductor blocks like asynchronous receiver /transmitter, general purpose input-output etc.Intel on chip system provides testing , debugging validation capabilities with visibility to individual  IP b locks.

The atom processors supports two way simultaneous multi-threading. To minimize the power SoC supports burst mode to increase the clock speed, when higher performance is required. The architecture supports both windows and Linux operating systems.

WIFI TRANS-RECEVIER

Intel has redesign WIFI device trans-receiver. Generally WIFI   trans-receivers are  analog in nature and are  harder to miniaturize.

The analog chip components like inductors cannot work efficiently, when chip size is reduced. WIFI radios are typically on separate connectivity chip often combined with others radio’s such as Bluetooth   and   FM  .

In-order to overcome these drawbacks digital WIFI radio trans-receiver

was introduced. They are less power consuming and can run much faster.

The information that are usually processed using RF signals is kept in digital domain until signal is amplified and goes out on the air wave. The strength of digital radio is that, it can swift to different radio protocols by only changing the SW settings. It will be beneficial for mobile phones, even-though  intel new trans-receiver approximately matches the digital radio schematics, it still includes some analog based filtering in the radio receiver.

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FIG: Intel puts CPU and WiFi radio together on same chip

The aim of Rose-point is to deliver “State of the art power efficiency” by removing unnecessary circuitary. Intel embeds the WIFI radio and dual core atom CPU onto the same chip of the silicon.This chip provides three things

  1. More electronic device will be able to network wirelessly.
  2. Devices could be more energy efficient.
  3. Multi digital radio can be combined on single chip , this can make mobile phones  cheaper.

The unique feature of PC on chip is spread spectrum clock generated(SSC) .The SSC is used to spread the frequency of the clock CPU ,DDR3 and various blocks in-order to reduce the energy of the clock noise, hence it can improve isolation of RF block.

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FIG: Intel’s wireless-enabled processor is shown here being attached to a motherboard.

Radios are technically called trans-receiver and are made up of number of components .A trans-receiver is composed of :

RECEIVER –   That brings in the signal from outside .

TRANSMITTER- Sends out the signals to the world.

AMPLIFIERS – To make small signals larger.

FILTERS AND MIXERS – To select and fine tune the signals.

BASEBAND – To modulate and demodulate, encode and decode data.

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FIG: The “Moore’s Law Radio” chip, on a test board used for the demonstration at the Intel Developer Forum.

“ Moore’s Law Radio “  , it’s an intel claim of  their first digital WIFI radio fabricated with 32nm.The test radio built with radio on a chip and field programmable gate array to string to digital radio from one computer to another.

By reducing the size from 90nm to 32nm improve performance and reduce half of power consumption.

Intel Demos Atom “Rosepoint” SoC with Built-In All-Digital Wi-Fi Transceiver.

Intel Rosepoint system-on-chip features two Intel Atom cores (presumably based on Saltwell micro-architecture), integrated DDR3 memory controller, built-in PCI Express 2.0 x4 controller, miscellaneous input/output capabilities as well as digital 802.11g Wi-Fi transceiver. Potentially, such chip could power various net books, but lacks integrated video and graphics processing capabilities, it will hardly ever make it to mass market. In fact, Rose-point will likely be a test vehicle for Intel’s wireless all-digital radio or a base for certain special-purpose devices.

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Virtually all modern devices have cables, either for charging or for transferring data or both. Intel  believes that in the future all equipment have to be completely wireless, whether it is a laptop, a display or something else. To achieve that, Intel wants to integrate radio in every applicable chip it makes, which essentially adds wireless tech to any client chip these days, given the trend towards highly-integrated system-on-chip devices.

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FIG: Intel chip consist of digital silicon radios, wi-fi docking, and centralized LTE base station computation.

A key to enable radio and wireless data transfer in every device possible, whether it is a notebook or a remote controller for TV, cost efficiently is to implement it using common building blocks that are used to make microprocessors. The thinner manufacturing technology is, the less expensive wireless radio blocks will be.

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The boards that are the radio

The chip  called Rose-point, a dual core Atom with a fully digital Wi-Fi radio. Intel has identified four major parts to be converted from analog to digital, the Sigma Delta ADC, Digital Frequency  Rose-point is a technical demonstration, not a product, Synthesizer, Digital RF Power Amplifier, and Digital Phase Modulator.

More important than the sheer cost and die area is flexibility.  analog radios have a limited range of frequencies . A digital radio should be able to provide far greater ranges, possibly even doing multiple frequencies at once. The chip is smaller but you could potentially have one digital radio instead of a half-dozen analog devices.

Cell towers in a centralized location to save power and boost performance. Instead of a CPU crunching LTE packets at each tower,  sending to all central location where a bunch of servers crunch the numbers centrally. pushing all that data across a MAN or WAN and crunching the numbers in a single rack better than be spoke silicon at a tower. Moving data like that isn’t free, it add cost to the network.

REFERENCE

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/09/intel-researchers-put-wifi-inside-the-processor-that-is/

http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/20/intel-puts-cpu-and-wifi-radio-on-same-chip/

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429299/intels-tiny-wi-fi-chip-could-have-a-big-impact/

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