Besides talking about new processors, leading PC chip maker Intel made a few announcements related to smart home last week at Computex 2018, one of the biggest IT trade shows held in Asia.
Firstly, the company said its 802.11ax chipsets are now in the sampling phase to support the next generation Wi-Fi standard. The company will start shipping chips for routers and consumer retail devices this year.
802.11ax is supposed to be faster and perform better while connecting with more devices. However, 802.11ax certification by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry group that standardizes new Wi-Fi versions, won’t begin until next year.
Intel’s 802.11ax chipsets are based on the Draft 2.0 specification of the Wi-Fi Alliance for mainstream 2×2 and 4×4 home routers and gateways.
Although Intel doesn’t have a big market presence in the connectivity industry like Qualcomm, Intel’s Wi-Fi chips are used in Arris routers, which are provided to end-users by Comcast.
At Computex, Asus, a Taiwanese PC maker, also showcased its first Wi-Fi mesh system supporting 802.11ax. It will take some more years for 802.11ax to take off in smart homes. After chipmakers ship the chips, new routers, laptops or smartphones and other end-user devices need to support the new standard as well. The Wi-Fi Alliance doesn’t expect to see mass adoption of 802.11ax until 2019.
Intel also announced new Ethernet enhancement for home gateways at Computex. Its 2.5GbE PHYs featuring low-power and low-cost is claimed to allow interoperability for home gateways and PCs under the new IEEE 802.3bz standard.
Lastly, Intel also debuted a set of hardware to allow developers to fasten the process to creating voice-enabled devices. Its Speech Enabling Developer Kit, a software development kit made with Amazon, was announced last October and was also showcased at Computex.