IBM and MediaTek Inc. are launching a joint initiative to develop ultra fast chipsets that they claim can wirelessly transmit a full-length high definition movie to and from a home PC, hand-held device, retail kiosk or television set nearly as fast as a viewer can push their remote control.
Both companies will combine their expertise in millimetre wave (mmWave) radio technology – the highest frequency portion of the radio spectrum where massive amounts of information can be sent quickly - and digital chipsets to create multimedia wireless products.
The large bandwidth for data transmission available at the mmWave frequency band enables at least 100 times higher data rates than current Wi-Fi standards.
The companies says users could upload a 10 gigabyte file in five seconds with the new technology versus 10 minutes using current Wi-Fi technology.
mmWave wireless technology can be widely used at home and office for applications such as multimedia content downloads or uncompressed HDTV streaming from a DVD player. I would be possible to wirelessly download and synchronise iPod-like devices with music and videos in seconds.
“This collaborative effort will enable consumers to wirelessly transfer large multimedia data files around their home and/or offices in seconds,” said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science & Technology, IBM Research. “This will enable a world where you can have your entertainment when you want and where you want it.”
The parties will collaborate to integrate IBM’s new mmWave radio chips, antenna, and package technology with MediaTek’s expertise in digital baseband and video processing chips.
IBM Research has been engaged in mmWave technology research and development for the last four years. In collaboration with IBM’s TJ Watson Research Centre and IBM’s Tokyo Research Lab, IBM demonstrated a prototype packaged chipset as small as a dime to wirelessly transmit uncompressed HD Video in February 2006. IBM used their 0.13-micron silicon germanium BiCMOS process to manufacture the chips.