Intel Corporation announced Wednesday that it has acquired more than 1,400 patents and patent applications from The Gores Group, a private equity firm. The patents were from Powerwave Technologies which filed for bankruptcy at the start of the year.
This isn't the first time that Intel got its hands on telecoms-related patents though. Back in 2012, the company shelled out $375 million to acquire 1,700 patents relating primarily to 802.11, 3G, and LTE technologies from InterDigital.
"Powerwave was a pioneer in telecommunications infrastructure products, including antennas and base stations. The patents relate to, among other things, telecommunications infrastructure technologies, including tower mounted amplifiers, antenna structures, power amplifier configurations, crest factor reduction and digital pre-distortion circuitry," Intel said in a statement.
But what will Intel do with all the technology now at its disposal?
They're going to help as Intel pushes for wireless PCs which will take advantage of its next-generation Skylake processors. In fact, the company aims to have Skylake processors inside computers before 2015 ends, eliminating the need for cables for peripherals and power.
According to Kirk Skaugen, PC Client Group general manager for Intel, reference designs for Skylake will be provided to manufacturers, allowing them to create systems that can take advantage of wireless technologies by tapping into Skylake's capabilities.
In the same way that Wi-Fi access is built into cities these days, Intel is hoping to achieve the same with wireless charging technology. The company is optimistic about the future of wireless charging, citing the success it had when it launched Centrino Wi-Fi adapters, which encouraged the spread of wireless internet access.
Major PC vendors like Lenovo, Dell, Asus, and Acer have already signed up for the Rezence standard too so support from manufacturers is there. This means soon wireless charging will no longer be limited to smaller devices like smartphones and tablets.
Aside from charging capabilities, wireless technology will build upon streaming audio and video to improve entertainment experiences for users. Skaugen demonstrated at the IDF in San Francisco what MiDi, Intel's audio-video streaming standard, is capable of by using an Asus ultrabook with integrated Intel Iris graphics, showing video that was smoothly streamed from the laptop to a 4K-resolution LG TV.
By the end of 2016, Skaugen expects that there will over 300 million WiDi-enabled systems in the market.
To wirelessly connect peripherals, Skylake will be using the WiGig streaming specification, a standard that allows for 10 times faster data transmission compared to 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Reference systems based on Skylake will be made available to developers and manufacturers at the start of 2015.