IBM has struck a joint initiative with Taiwanese manufacturer MediaTek to develop ultra-fast chipsets that can wirelessly transmit a full-length high definition movie to and from a home PC, handheld device, retail kiosk or television set – almost as fast as a viewer can push their remote control.
The new technology will allow consumers to rid their homes of the cumbersome wires needed to connect their HD-TVs to set top boxes and allow the placement of devices anywhere that is convenient, instead of having to organize furniture and other accessories around technology.
Both companies will combine their expertise in millimeter 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 revolutionary 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 WiFi standards.
For example, a user could upload a 10Gb file in five seconds with the new technology, compared to 10 minutes using current WiFi technology.
mmWave wireless technology can be widely used at home and office for applications such as multimedia content downloads or uncompressed HDTV streaming from your DVD player. Users could wirelessly download and synchronize 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," says Dr TC Chen, vice-president: Science & Technology at 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 as well as leverage MediaTek's influence in the consumer electronics market.
IBM Research has been engaged in mmWave technology research and development for the last four years.