This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Next Gen Mobility magazine.
The widespread availability and use of digital multimedia content has created a need for faster wireless connectivity that current commercial standards cannot support. This has driven demand for a single standard that can support advanced applications such as wireless display and docking.
The Wireless Gigabit Alliance was formed to meet this need by establishing a wireless technology operating in the unlicensed 60gHz band that promises data rates of up to 7gbps, or more than 10 times the speed of the fastest Wi-Fi networks available today. The band has much more spectrum available than the 2.4 or 5 gHz bands used by existing Wi-Fi products, allowing wider channels that support faster transmission speeds.
The WiGig Alliance (News - Alert) completed a successful 2011 with the publication of two new protocol adaptation layer specifications, the WiGig Display Extension and the WiGig Serial Extension to supplement the previously published WiGig Bus Extension and MAC/PHY specifications.
The completion of all the necessary components of the first ever multi-gigabit wireless docking specification was a major milestone. We have also hosted the first ever WiGig interoperability test event, received ITU-R endorsement and formed a docking task group chartered with creating the world’s first multi-gigabit wireless docking specification. Now industry momentum is really growing and I am pleased to see analysts such as NPD In-Stat (News - Alert) predicting that WiGig is likely to emerge as the most popular wireless HD video technology.
So what’s next for the WiGig Allliance?
The WiGig Alliance is calling for even more developer involvement in the creation of the world’s first unified specification for multi-gigabit wireless docking. At the inception of WiGig Alliance back in 2009, we envisioned the realization of innovative and interoperable multi-gigabit wireless connectivity among PCs, consumer electronics and hand-held devices. We are now close to making this a commercial reality with first release of certified WiGig products scheduled for early 2013.
The alliance continues to gather additional industry momentum with product developments moving forward at great pace. I am confident that WiGig will soon become the world’s most important multi-gigabit wireless technology found in many products. We are going to see a real shake up of the industry.
ZTE (News - Alert), one of China’s flagship telecom equipment and services suppliers to the world market, recently joined the impressive list of WiGig members representing the industry’s top chipmakers and consumer electronics manufacturers from around the world. And in February Huawei (News - Alert) joined the board of directors. These world-leading tech companies are seeing WiGig as a desirable and interesting technology.
Sun Qingbo, general manager of the standards and pre-research department at ZTE Corp. suggests why this is the case.
“We believe WiGig technology has a bright future that will provide a very promising short-range communication solution for the industry,” he said. “ZTE has a broad product range, from cell phones and tablets, to conference terminals and set-top boxes. I think it will be fantastic if WiGig technology can be adopted on all these products. I am certain there are many companies that share the same vision as us.”
WiGig has also increased its Asia presence with a new office opening in Taipei. The organization has roots in Beaverton, Ore.; San Diego; Beijing; and now Taiwan. In fact it will be hosting a series of technical briefings on virtually every continent during 2012. That started in Asia in April and June. The main objective is to share information about WiGig systems with leaders in the consumer electronics industry.
WiGig products are already coming onto the market now, but official certification from the WiGig Alliance will not be available until early 2013. Once certification has been finalized we are likely to see an upsurge in the number of interesting products coming to market using this exciting technology. Just think, wires, excessive battery use and clogged up networks could be a thing of the past.
Ali Sadri is the president and chairman of the board of WiGig Alliance (www.wirelessgigabitalliance.com) and director of the Intel (News - Alert) Mobile Wireless Group.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi