IDF - Intel's Cliffside turns one Wi-Fi adapter into two

Intel demonstrated a technology that allows a single Wi-Fi adapter to maintain two separate connections.

Intel on Tuesday gave a demonstration of its Cliffside technology, which allows a single Wi-Fi adapter to function like two independent adapters and maintain simultaneous connections using different networks.

Cliffside, which Intel calls a "research technology," was demonstrated in Shanghai ahead of the Intel Developer Forum, which starts tomorrow.

Users can maintain two simultaneous network connections with Cliffside. One connection can link the laptop to a wireless Internet connection and the other to a personal area network (PAN) of Wi-Fi devices. This would allow users to download files from the Internet while synchronizing an MP3 player or streaming a high-definition movie to a television over the PAN connection, for example.

Cliffside can also link several different laptops, allowing users to create a network and share files when a Wi-Fi access point is not available.

Up to eight Wi-Fi devices or laptops can be linked to a laptop's Wi-Fi adapter using a PAN connection, the chip maker said.

Intel did not offer a timeframe for when Cliffside would be available in a product, suggesting the technology may still be several years away from commercialization.

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