There are already smartwatches and other wearables with cellular data built-in, but the bulky hardware they need for that wireless access makes them less than elegant. Intel clearly isn't happy with this state of affairs, as it just unveiled an extra-tiny modem that should put truly sleek, always-connected devices on your body -- and seemingly everywhere else. The new XMM 6255 isn't much larger than a penny (0.47 square inches), but delivers a full-fledged 3G data link. It's built to take abuses like power spikes, and it doesn't need a big antenna to get a good connection; it can even get solid performance in a low-signal area like your basement.
XMM™ 6255 features the SMARTI™ UE2p transceiver, which is based on our unique new Intel® Power Transceiver technology, the industry’s first design to combine transmit & receive functionality with a fully integrated power amplifier and power management, all on a single chip. This design approach reduces XMM™ 6255’s component requirements, resulting in a smaller modem that helps manufacturers minimize their build of material costs. It also protects the radio from overheating, voltage peaks and damage under tough usage conditions, which is important for safety monitors and other critical IoT devices.
Additionally, the XMM™ 6255 modem features a unique radio architecture that enables it to perform exceptionally well in challenging real-world situations, including:
- Low signal network coverage: The XMM™ 6255 modem provides reliable communication when it comes to transmitting information in low signal zones like a parking garage or a home basement.
- Small-sized devices: Devices with a small form factor like a smartwatch or a sensor may not have enough space for a normal-sized 3G antenna, which can affect connectivity quality and reliability. The XMM™ 6255 modem is specially designed for such devices and delivers great 3G connectivity even with small volume antennas not meeting conventional mobile phone quality standards.
The company isn't ready to say just who's using the miniscule modem in finished products, but the technology could be relatively ubiquitous. Besides more wearables that don't have to rely on your phone to get online, you could see a larger internet of things where even relatively small devices have their own internet service; it's reasonable to expect a lot of smart sensors and security systems that can always talk to the outside world.