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 millimetre 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 optimised 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]