Last week, we saw that the upcoming Intel Gemini Lake processors integrated a CNVi (Connectivity Integration) block with a WiFi MAC, and Bluetooth MAC & Baseband Modem connected over a CNVio interface to a separate CRF (Companion RF) module handling the RF part. The design change is shown in the block diagram below with the old design on the left using wireless modules connected over PCIe and USB, and the new design on the right used in Cannon Lake/Gemini Lake processors which aims at saving power, cost, and size.
Intel has now uploaded the product brief for their first wireless CRF module: Intel Wireless-AC 9560 with the following key features:
- Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wave 2 2×2 WiFi up to 1.73 Gbps using 160 MHz channels
- Standards – IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 802.11d, 802.11e, 802.11h, 802.11i, 802.11w, 802.11r, 802.11k, 802.11v pending OS support
- WPA and WPA2, 802.1X (EAP-TLS, TTLS, PEAP,EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA, EAP-AKA’) authentication methods
- PAP, CHAP, TLS, MS-CHAP, MS-CHAPv2 protocols
- 64-bit and 128-bit WEP, TKIP, 128-bit AES-CCMP encryption
- Supports roaming between access points
- Bluetooth 5
- Antenna diversity and Radio ON/OFF control supported
- Connector Interface – M.2: CNVio
- 9560NGW model: 30 x 22 x 2.4 mm (M.2 2230 form factor)
- 9560D2W model: 16 x 12 x 1.57 mm (M.2 1216 form factor)
- Weight – 9560NGW: 2.8 grams, 9560D2W: 0.7 gram
- Certifications – FIPS, FISMA, UL, C-UL, CB (IEC 60950-1), and other regulatory certifications depending on country
Intel has been providing M.2 2230 and M.2 1216 wireless modules for a while, so there’s no direct space saving here with CNVi when using those modules, but they should still come with less components than previous design.
We’ll have to wait until systems based on Gemini Lake or Cannon Lake start selling before being able to purchase Wireless-AC 9560 module, or see it bundled in computers or laptops.