Desktop PCs are still here with us, even in the age of extreme technological mobility, because faster processing power requires more energy and produces more heat. Companies are working on it and there are signs that we will own at one point PC-like powered smartphones. Until then, Intel is working on a plan to ensure that cables will be less needed in the structure of the next generation PC.
Intel bought 1.400 patents previously owned by Powerwave Technologies. The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed. Powerwave filed for bankruptcy in January and the patents ended up with The Gores Group, a private equity company from Los Angeles.
“Powerwave was a pioneer in telecommunications infrastructure products, including antennas and base stations,” said Intel in a statement. “The patents relate to, among other things, telecommunications infrastructure technologies, including tower-mounted amplifiers, antenna structures, power amplifier configurations, crest factor reduction, and digital pre-distortion circuitry.”
A precise intention to use these patents was not announced. However, Intel plans to offer wireless desktop PCs until the end of 2015. Right now, Intel sells processors based on Haswell architecture. The next generation is already being tested by some companies selected by Intel. The next generation architecture, Broadwell, will be released by the end of the year.
Basically, the company will once again shrink the microprocessors, using 14 nm technology. However, wireless PCs will use the next generation processor architecture, Skylake. Even if the next ‘tock’ architecture will use the same 14 nm dimension as Broadwell, Skylake will offer one particular advantage, WiGig technology. By using WiGig, Intel plans to eliminate peripherals’ cords.
Moreover, the PC’s based on the Skylake platform will have access to wireless charging. A power emitting board placed in the vicinity of the PC, possibly under the table, will transfer electricity to the desktop. Intel hopes that the Rezence wireless charging standard will be widely adopted by other producers. When that happens, people living in cities will be in the vicinity of a wireless charger most of the time, as it now is the case with Wi-Fi.
Even if WiDi is implemented in today’s laptops, Intel plans to turn this wireless imaging and audio streaming technology into a standard. Soon, Intel will develop a WiDi adapter to be sold for $40.
The patents developed by Powerwave acquired by Intel on Wednesday will definitely be of great use in the development of the next generation wireless equipment.