The telecommunications industry is now entering an exciting phase of development many refer to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), including Internet of Humans (IoH), Internet of Digital (IoD), and Internet of Sensors (IoS). The objective here is to bring more “smartness” to the way humans and machines communicate. In order for this vision to materialize, enabling technologies must be harmonized under a common paradigm so they can enable seamless experiences across various verticals. There are five key technologies upon which the IoE world is built, namely sensor networks, connectivity, processing, software platforms, actuation technologies, and big data and machine learning. Based on these building blocks, the Semiconductors sector looks at the strategic technology deployment across various verticals with unparalled technology granularity covering all WLAN and WWAN technologies and technology combinations, processing platforms including CPUs, MCUs, MPUs, DSPs, ISPs, heterogeneous computing, high performance computing, key sensor technologies, and sensor fusions targeting various use cases from motion sensing, environment sensing, optical, and image sensing, to acoustic sensing and biometric sensing.
Atheros has just announced the launch of its Align product family – a portfolio of one-stream 802.11n chips designed to provide an upgrade to legacy 802.11g products. More specifically, Atheros is trying to entice customers who have purchased proprietary “turbo g” based products to upgrade to a faster and also standards-based 802.11n product. The chipmaker’s customers will be targeting low-cost notebook, notebook, home networking, and consumer electronics products and will promise faster performance, greater range, and lower energy use compared to 802.11g-based products. There are a number of factors that contributed to Atheros’ decision. One is the growth of 802.11n-based laptops flowing through the retail channel. Another is the drop in price of 802.11n-based routers. Still, Align-based products will sit midway between very low-priced 802.11g products and very high-end multi-stream 802.11n products and therein lies the danger.