Intel is developing a new chip that can handle WiFi, WiMAX and DVB-H digital TV.
This kind of chip would allow equipment to access the WiFi network in the home, automatically handover to a WiMAX network when you leave the house and also access digital TV on the move, all through one chip.“There is a shift from people wanting their content any time, anywhere to any device, any network, and the problem is there are too many radios,” said Jeff Hoffman, system architect for the wireless communications lab.
The chip tapes out next week and uses nine processing elements in different combinations to handle the three protocols. The processing elements are linked by a network on chip for the data and a control bus using the open OCP bus protocol with an ARC 605 configurable processor as the system controller. This has been extended with a 32 x 32 fast multiplier to handle the network access, and provides 303DMIPS of performance at 233MHz with just 17mW of peak power.
The test chip measures 24mm2 overall and consumes 79mW in receive mode at 52Mbit/s and 72mW in transmit, and links to three RF chips for the different networks.