Intel To Demo UWB Chip At Developer Forum

Intel Corp. will demonstrate its own ultrawideband chip as part of a so-called wireless USB initiative at the Intel Developer Forum, Feb. 17-19 in San Francisco.

February 10, 2004

2 Min Read
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Intel Corp. will demonstrate its own ultrawideband chip as part of a so-called wireless USB initiative at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF, Feb. 17-19).

Details on the company's first communications chips to use its 90-nm process, and some details about its thinking on a possible 64-bit x86, are also on the company's agenda for the event in San Francisco.

Intel will unveil a multi-company initiative to support a 480 Mbit/s wireless USB technology over 10 meters based on UWB. Backers will include Dolby Labs and many of the companies currently supporting the wired USB 2.0 specification, said an Intel spokesman.

The wireless USB initiative and the Intel chip will be based on the multiband OFDM technology backed by an industry alliance that includes Intel. It will also be supported by the WiMedia Alliance that is helping define UWB software interoperability. The wireless USB chips are not expected to ship in products until 2005.

The Intel spokesman would not confirm or deny reports that the company will demonstrate a 64-bit x86 at IDF. However, he did say "the subject will be brokered," probably in the keynote address of Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive.Intel could damage market potential of its emerging 64-bit Itanium processor co-developed with Hewlett-Packard by disclosing too soon its 64-bit plans for the more mainstream Pentium, said Nathan Brookwood, market watcher with Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.).

"Right now Itanium is at a very fragile point. Its gaining momentum, but it has not had a big impact on the collective conscious of the IT community yet," Brookwood said.

John Davies, vice president of Intel's sales and marketing group, said more than 100,000 Itanium systems were sold in 2003, hitting Intel's market goal. "You'll see significant [Itanium] growth this year," he added.

In other news, Davies said Intel will announce its first 90-nm communications processors at IDF with plans to apply the in-house technology across its portfolio of wired and wireless parts. Previously, foundries such as TSMC made at least some of Intel's communications chips, Davies said.

In total, Intel will make as many as 16 new announcements at IDF. Third parties are planning about a dozen more, said the Intel spokesman.Other news at IDF will include new tools to ensure interoperability of digital home products, new NOR flash technology and the creation of a memory implementers' forum to address issues with DDR II and a front-side bus in-line memory module.

Intel holds IDF twice a year. This marks the eighth year for the conference.

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