Convergence is a big deal in the computer world. The more functions can be combined into a single chipset or processor, the less space is needed for hardware components and often less power is required. The less hardware is needed inside a device, the smaller the devices get. Less power consumption means that batteries inside notebooks and tablets run longer. Researchers at Intel have come up with a new way to make Wi-Fi faster and more energy-efficient by combining a Wi-Fi radio with the CPU.
The Intel chip is called the Rosepoint and at least for now it's a research project only. However, Wired reports that we could see this on the chip inside laptops and mobile phones by the end of the decade. Rosepoint is a big deal because engineers and researchers at Intel have been able to miniaturize the components of the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio to the point where they can be placed directly beside an Atom CPU.
Intel is able to miniaturize the components to the point where they can be made using the latest chipmaking processes available today. Intel is promising when the chips finally hit market they will pack state of the art power efficiency and superior signal quality compared to separate processors and Wi-Fi radios. Intel also has its eyes set on building a digital cellular radio chip as well. Having an Atom CPU with an integrated 3G or 4G modem would be impressive indeed.