Skylake reference designs have wireless charging, WiGig networking

During yesterday’s IDF keynote, Intel demoed mobile systems with wireless charging and WiGig networking. Scott surmised that those features could be integrated into the Skylake generation of systems, and it turns out he was right. During a subsequent IDF “mega session” on reinventing the PC, Intel General Manager Kirk Skaugen confirmed that wireless charging and Wireless Gigabit connectivity will both be part of Skylake reference designs for developers.

Intel is evidently serious about cutting cords wherever it can. It’s not alone, either. Skaugen announced some new additions to the Rezence Alliance for Wireless Power, including Emirates Airlines, which pledged to put charging pads on its planes. Some of the biggest names in the technology business are already part of the alliance.

In addition to wireless charging and WiGig networking, LTE connectivity and RealSense 3D cameras will be part of Skylake reference rigs. Developers will get their hands on the machines in the first half of 2015, Skaugen said, and actual products are due in the second half.

There’s no guarantee that every Skylake system will employ all the bells and whistles in the reference designs. However, some features could be required for ultrabook classification.

Comments closed
    • Krogoth
    • 6 years ago

    Wireless power transmission is just a fad that is only technically feasible because the silicon consumes so little power. (I suspect it take a few hours for a nearly depleted battery to recharge and it has a short transmission range)

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Not impressed based upon a false premise. Even inductive charging can be close to wired charging.

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        Learn how electromagnetism works and you will quickly understand why wireless transmission never took off.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 6 years ago

          Learn to read some simple reviews that compare wireless to wired charging and you’ll see that even current wireless charging isn’t that much slower, especially for the fat part of the charging curve. (So not 0-100% charging, but 20-90% charging)

            • Krogoth
            • 6 years ago

            It depends on how much current the wired charger is pulling versus microwave emitter. Just knowing on how electromagnetism operates. The wired charger has a massive advantage in efficiency, headroom and reliability.

            The only reason that Intel is pitching this is because Broadwell platform consumes so little juice at idle that wireless power transmission is possible despite its limitations. You are still *tendered* to the transmission source which I suspect has a rather limited range in the real-world.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 6 years ago

            Massive? No, absolutely false, even with inductive charging.

            I got one of these:
            [url<]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CQ1QG7W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/url<] [url<]http://www.gmyle.com/collections/wiresless-charger/products/qi-wireless-charging-pad-m2-chipset?variant=403893817[/url<] for my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. I did multiple time-to-charge tests and the (time/recharge percent) differences were under 10% compared to the stock chargers. It was a little slower for the last 10% of battery but not by much. You need to stop making stuff up just based off no data just for the sake of your not impressed shtick.

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          Totally*. That’s why Transformers are only in 1980’s cartoons and bad Michael Bay movies….

          * 1. Don’t over-generalize.
          2. Just because crazy-Tesla long-distance high-power transmission is a pipe dream doesn’t mean that an inductive charge device for your smartphone is physically impossible.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<](I suspect it take a few hours for a nearly depleted battery to recharge[/quote<] Just like now. [quote<] and it has a short transmission range)[/quote<] That's to be expected and dropping my phone on a table to charge it is a whole lot easier than fishing around for the USB cord that's hopefully the right one for my particular device.

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        Wired connections take less than an hour or a little more to recharge a battery (depending on how much current the charger pulls and the capacity of the battery)

        It is not that hard to find a wire and connect it. It is only appealing to those who are lazy or forgetful.

          • dashbarron
          • 6 years ago

          Like anything else it’s a convenience thing. And I think that with some refinement it can become more efficient and have slightly greater range as we move forward.

          I’ve been using wireless charging for my phone for two years: it’s great. Sure, plugging in my phone isn’t difficult, but being able to just lay it on a plate and walk away is a convenience I was glad to pay a few bucks for (the charging plate). Not having to waste a few seconds messing with the orientation of the plug, being able to charge my phone without having to see the plug (low light situations), and not whopping out the port on my phone are all benefits: with the latter being possible cost savings if I keep a device for a long time.

          There’s no reason not to include this as it doesn’t seem to incur that much cost and it has benefits over wired charging, albeit minor.

    • xeridea
    • 6 years ago

    Just read up on WiGig, seems kind of pointless to have super high speed data that only works 6 feet away with nothing in the way. Longer range wireless can deliver speed faster than any US Internet connection unless you are lucky enough to have Google or Chattanooga Gig, and even then, you would be hardpressed to actually utilize all that with a single device. If you are regularly transferring huge files, you are likely limited by HD speed (SSD expensive for massive storage), or camera, or you are at work on a super high speed wired network. I just don’t see the case for it.

      • odizzido
      • 6 years ago

      The number of people that can use a connection with speeds greater than 56mbps has got to be very very small. Even when I transfer files over FTP on my wireless connection I find 56mbps to be just fine. I suppose if I were doing like 50gigs a day and it was time sensitive I would want more, but then I could just plug my laptop into my gig ethernet anyways. My cable reaches more than six feet too.

      • willmore
      • 6 years ago

      Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I think they’re thinking of stuff like displays which can use tons of BW.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 6 years ago

      Contrary to what some sites will tell you, it’s not range that is really a problem for WiGig, but blockers. i.e. it doesn’t really travel through walls or people. As such, those signal effectively have to rely on reflections which does attenuate it somewhat.

      Still, in-room low latency WiGig can do stuff Wifi is unlikely to. Ex. truly low latency high bandwidth wireless display. Even with the latest stuff (shield, etc) there is still quite a perceptible difference between the latency of wired vs. wireless.

      I don’t think it’s going to revolutionize the world or anything, but ridding myself of those last few cords (display, speakers, etc) will still be nice.

        • xeridea
        • 6 years ago

        From what I read, range is 30 feet, so add in blockers, it’s a lot less. In a typical house you may get 10 feet out of it.

        I am not sure how it solves wires issues with speakers, they still need power… and wires can be ran in such a way that you don’t see them. I always wondered how the wireless display tech is supposed to eliminate wires, if you still need power.

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 6 years ago

          Beam forming addresses the range situation (and very robustly as there are many small antennas for 60Ghz), but obviously can’t help with walls.

          Some more data on wikipedia and here:
          [url<]http://www.networkworld.com/article/2172394/tech-primers/understanding-where-802-11ad-wigig-fits-into-the-gigabit-wi-fi-picture.html[/url<] Honestly I think of WiGig more in terms of being a better bluetooth or replacing remaining machine cables vs. replacing WiFi or ethernet.

      • rootheday3
      • 6 years ago

      WiGig speed has nothing to do with your broadband connection speed.

      Here is my use case:
      I have a laptop – when I am traveling or working in a conference room, I use it as a standalone device; I carry the power adapter “just in case”, but no other peripherals.

      When I come to my desk, I want to “dock” it … this consists of:
      1) plugging in to USB cable to USB hub for the external keyboard and mouse,
      2) display port cable for external display.
      3) power cable so that I can run the laptop panel with brightness up, lots of apps, … without the battery running down/being low when I go to undock

      For #3, to avoid having to crawl under the desk to plug/unplug the power, this means I have to have 2 power bricks for my laptop.

      What I want – just set the laptop down on the desk and start working without having to mess with all the cables.

      Wireless power addresses #3; the external display itself can be permanently plugged in to wall power.

      For #2: WiGig gives the bandwidth needed for wireless display to offer high resolution with “as good as wired” image quality, including for productivity use cases such as text (vs Miracast where low WiFi bandwidth forces heavy encoder – latency added, 4:2:0 compression artifacts).

      for #1, once you have the external link from WiGig for #2, you can also tunnel PCIe and USB through it. Couldbe used for storage, external GPU. In other words, WiGig is the wireless version of Thunderbolt.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Interestly to see Intel working on more wireless technology, which has not always been their strong suit.

    Hopefully there will be a miracle and we’ll actually get a real standard for wireless charging.. hope hope hope..

    EDIT: Went to that Rezence alliance website. Saw all sorts of interesting companies including, but not limited to, LG, HTC, Samsung, Qualcom, Intel, Dell, Lenovo, Marvell, Mediatek, & Asus…. didn’t see a certain fruity company though…

      • ImSpartacus
      • 6 years ago

      [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0-KZS1dDyw<]Apple does what it wants.[/url<]

      • LoneWolf15
      • 6 years ago

      Not its strong suit? Intel wireless cards tend to beat other brands.

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        Intel does make good WiFi cards I’ll grant you that. I’m more talking about other wireless technologies where companies like Qualcomm have tended to dominate the market.

    • Milo Burke
    • 6 years ago

    I like where this is going! Wireless charging and LTE connectivity will transform laptop computing as we know it into something superbly more convenient. Hopefully each will receive the proper design wins and third party support to work well instead of hardly work.

    And if WiGig networks become standard per cube at work or per room at home, it could radically change what we think of as networking.

    Also, imagine if other airlines catch on, or what this could do to coffee shops and airport lounges. Let’s cross our fingers that Intel can inspire change rather than just promoting inspiring standards that no one adopts.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 6 years ago

      “And if WiGig networks become standard per cube at work or per room at home, it could radically change what we think of as networking.”

      And then bottlenecked by AT&T’s 4 Mbps “broadband” connection.

      • shank15217
      • 6 years ago

      LTE networking wont do anything unless LTE providers like Verizon and AT&T have wireless plans that don’t cost more than these ultra books would cost per year.

        • Milo Burke
        • 6 years ago

        With T-mobile, the third device on your plan (and every device after) is $10/m for 1 GB, $20 for 3 GB, and $30/m for unlimited.

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 6 years ago

          There were accusations that T-mobile throttles connections without letting their customers know.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 6 years ago

    When I see that picture with power source under the table, I start thinking of my sperm count.

      • Milo Burke
      • 6 years ago

      The tech-savvy don’t have many kids anyway…

        • albundy
        • 6 years ago

        its kind of hard to when you’re over weight, middle aged, and still living in your parents basement. go techies!

          • Milo Burke
          • 6 years ago

          Woo!

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 6 years ago

      As long as your sperm isn’t made of metal (or probably even if it is), I think you’ll be ok 🙂

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        You know that non-metalic things absorb RF energy, right?
        [url<]http://web.tiscali.it/decartes/phd_html/intro-atmosferic.png[/url<]

          • jihadjoe
          • 6 years ago

          We already got a ton more radiation from the sun and the earth’s magnetic field. Worst case someone ends up with a slightly warm ball sac.

            • willmore
            • 6 years ago

            Hold on to that thought. There was just an X class solar flare and it was aimed at the earth. In two to three days, we might have some fun. 🙂

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 6 years ago

          Absolutely, the comment was a joke (and if you got the embedded MST3K reference, kudos :)) But yeah, this stuff is obviously all far below the energy level of having any affect. Same with cell phones, etc… the science is pretty clear on it at this point; it’s just the next power lines.

            • FireGryphon
            • 6 years ago

            EMI does get absorbed by the body and can often have pretty bad affects, especially on soft tissue. You may have been joking, but you were pretty close to the truth.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 6 years ago

            Let’s not get off into the weeds here but as always, it’s all about “dose” (power level here). Too much of pretty much anything is bad, but that does not making something intrinsically bad at any dose.

            The power levels being discussed here are far lower than anything that would pose any health effects… there is no legitimate scientific debate on that.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 6 years ago

      Don’t worry, just have the kids first and then you can have all the tech in the world. Kids and tech kinda goes together anyway.

      • JumpingJack
      • 6 years ago

      Magnetic inductance coupling is not the same as electromagnetic radiation….

      …. relax, your sperm will be fine — and no, pressing your nuts against the table will not help you avoid that vasectomy when it is time to be done.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 6 years ago

      Your honor, that two-headed kid isn’t mine. I swear.

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