IDF Rattner Keynote: Digital Radios and Spring Meadow
Today, Intel demo'd Rosepoint in functional hardware. While the company still hasn't committed to a schedule for bringing the dual-core SoC to market, a live tech demo is a way to prove that the hardware is functional and capable of transmitting and receiving data. Here's the highlight reel...
This video shows a streaming film being beamed across stage. When Rattner covers one end of the array with both hands, the stream cuts out. Integrating these components together in a single chip was challenging due to the CPU and radio blocks having a tendency to interfere with each other.
The idea behind Smart Connect is that laptops could behave a lot more like mobile phones. Traditionally, laptops -- even laptops that are programmed to sleep after 10-15 minutes -- remain awake for long periods when they aren't used and can't be updated while asleep. Haswell-based devices will incorporate support for new sleep modes to help address the first problem; Intel's existing Smart Connect technology attacks the second.
A laptop without Smart Connect has to remain in idle-but-awake mode in order to receive real-time status or program updates. Put the system to sleep, and programs will lag at wake-up as they fetch all available updates, tweets, and messages. Smart Connect addresses this by waking the system periodically, downloading / applying various updates, and then going back to sleep.
Intel's Spring Meadow update to Smart Connect saves power by cutting back on how often it spins up the wireless radio. Look at packet reception/transmission rates between the two platforms, and you'll see that Spring Meadow has been put on a hefty diet. CPU-side improvements also reduce power consumption by increasing the number of specific areas that can be deactivated when the CPU is idling.