Connecting devices can take hundreds of pins, which is a lot of real estate. That's one reason why Sony's new wireless chip technology is so exciting—a circuit board free of clutter could be here in just three years.
Sony's using millimeter wave technology in the 30 to 300GHz spectrum to to create a short-range link between devices, according to IEEE Spectrum:
A 40-nanometer complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) prototype system achieved transfer speeds of 11 gigabits per second operating at 56 gigahertz over a distance of 14 millimeters. Adding a secondary antenna can increase the range to 50 mm.
A wireless connection not only cleans up the circuit board, it allows for more reliability in removable parts. That's not all, according to Sony's Yoshiyuki Akiyama:
"Direct connection also reduces the size of the circuits and power consumption," says Akiyama. In addition, he says, Sony has optimized the system's circuitry for use as compact low-power interconnects. The result is an overall footprint of just 0.13 square millimeters for the entire system, with a total power consumption of 70 milliwatts.
It'll take about three years before we start seeing wireless system-on-a-chip technology in consumer products, but Sony envisions a future where devices that need to communicate could simply be placed close to each other. No more inputs and outputs! Just good ol' fashioned proximity. [IEEE Spectrum]