Intel, with Skylake, looks to new day of cable-free computing

June 5, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
Rezence-based, multi-device wireless charging up to 50 watts. Credit: The Alliance for Wireless Power

Intel is working on a day not too distant in the future when the normal PC work day will enable docking and charging activities as a wire-free experience. Intel on Wednesday revealed at the Computex trade show in Taipei, via an Intel demonstration by Kirk Skaugen, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, that the chipmaker is working on wireless technologies to help deliver a new normal in PC environments.

Intel will help make the wire-free computing experience possible through use of both WiGig and Rezence systems, driven by Intel's future "Skylake" platform, to succeed Broadwell. Intel is looking forward to seeing a completely wire-free PC by 2016, according to reports of the Taipei demo from Agam Shah of the IDG News Service. Docking and connectivity tasks will go wireless as part of the next "Skylake" reference designs. Intel demonstrated a table with a magnetic resonance charging system attached under its surface, according to a report from CNET. Seamus Byrne, CNET editor for Australia and Asia, said the system can be installed under a table surface, with magnetic resonance capable of charging through 2 inches of wood. It can also charge any number of devices at the same time. At the event, Skaugen demonstrated a table that charged a laptop, phone, headset and tablet all at once.

Shah, in the IDG News Service report, said the screen got brighter as the laptop got closer to the table, indicating that the PC was being wirelessly charged. This magnetic resonance technology is called Rezence, which is from the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), of which Intel is a member. Rezence is a standard to wirelessly charge devices, and is being promoted by the A4WP. Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Logitech, and Panasonic, in addition to Intel, are among the members, with a total membership that now tops 100 companies. A news release on Wednesday from the Alliance said that the Rezence specification also supports of multiple devices with differing power requirements on the same surface, a feature unique to technologies.

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A4WP Wireless Power Demonstration

As for a short-range docking technology, said CNET, Intel is using the WiGig standard. WiGig wireless technology automatically docks devices together, and offers speeds up to 7Gbps using the 60GHz frequency band. The IDG News Service report said Intel is developing WiGig modules for laptops, desktops and high-resolution displays.

With Skylake expected in the second half of 2015, said CNET's Byrne, devices based on the reference designs may enter the market in 2016.

Explore further: Laptop juices smartphone in Intel demo at Computex (w/ Video)

More information: Press release: www.marketwatch.com/story/alliance-for-wireless-power-a4wp-announces-the-expansion-of-the-rezence-standard-to-50-watts-to-include-tablets-pcs-and-peripherals-2014-06-04

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