The WiGig Alliance captured our imaginations back in May, but now it seems that the world of multi-gigabit streaming is so close, we can taste the data slipping over our tongues on their way to the next access point. Put simply, the specification that the group has been toiling on over the past few months is finally complete, and while some of its members have been prototyping wares along the way, this 1.0 announcement effectively opens the flood gates for partnering outfits to implement it into their gear. In case you're curious as to how 60GHz will help you, have a listen: WiGig enables wireless transfer rates more than ten times faster than today's fastest wireless LAN, and it's completely backward compatible with existing WiFi devices. As we've already seen with those totally bodacious dual-band (2.4GHz / 5GHz) routers, having another band with this kind of speed potential can only mean great things for the future.
We had a talk with Dr. Ali Sadri (the group's chairman and president) as well as Mark Grodzinsky (board director and marketing work group chair) in order to get a better idea of what's at play here, and frankly, we're anxious to see this get implemented into... well, just about anything. WiGig v1.0 supports data transmission rates up to 7Gbps, and if living in a house full of WiGig-enabled devices, you could finally envision streaming HD content from a bedroom PC to an HDTV and a living room netbook without any wires whatsoever. In the case of the netbook, there's even a chance that the embedded WiGig module could support faster transfer rates than the sockets around the edges, which would simultaneously enable wireless to be faster than the wired (at least in this scenario) and your brain to melt.
Finally, the group has picked up four new members -- NVIDIA, AMD, SK Telecom and TMC -- though unfortunately, WiGig wouldn't comment on the future availability of 60GHz products. We were told that they would be shocked if anyone had a prototype 60GHz device on the CES show floor, but you can bet that won't stop us from looking. Oh, and if we had to take a wild guess, we'd surmise that companies interested in speeding up their own offerings will be jumping on this quick, so hopefully you'll be ditching 2.4GHz once and for all come next summer(ish).
WiGig Alliance Announces Completion of its Multi-Gigabit Wireless Specification
Four members join alliance, including leaders in PC display market, adding breadth to diverse, multi-industry membership
BEAVERTON, Ore. – December 10, 2009 – Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), the organization advancing the adoption and widespread use of 60 GHz wireless technology worldwide, today announced the completion of its unified wireless specification. The WiGig specification enables high performance wireless display and audio and provides data transfer rates more than 10 times faster than today's wireless LANs, extending Wi-Fi technology while supporting backward compatibility with existing Wi-Fi devices. The completed specification is now ready for member review and is anticipated to be made available to WiGig adopter members in Q1 2010.
"When we launched the WiGig Alliance in May, we announced our plan to complete the industry's first unified 60 GHz specification by Q4 2009, and we are proud to deliver on this promise to the industry," said Dr. Ali Sadri, president and chairman of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance. "We're rapidly paving the way for the introduction of the next generation of high-performance wireless products – PCs, mobile handsets, TVs and displays, Blu-ray disc players, digital cameras and many more."
The WiGig version 1.0 specification includes the following key elements:
• Supports data transmission rates up to 7 Gbps – more than ten times faster than the highest 802.11n rate
• Supplements and extends the 802.11 Medium Access Control (MAC) layer and is backward compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard
• Physical layer enables both the low power and the high performance WiGig devices, guaranteeing interoperability and communication at gigabit rates
• Protocol adaptation layers are being developed to support specific system interfaces including data buses for PC peripherals and display interfaces for HDTVs, monitors and projectors
• Support for beamforming, enabling robust communication at distances beyond 10 meters
• Widely used advanced security and power management for WiGig devices
"WiGig has reached a milestone with the completion of its specification as promised by year end, demonstrating the organization's commitment to deliver," said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. "By complementing Wi-Fi and enabling multi-gigabit speeds, the versatile specification is a very significant achievement on the road to the next generation of wireless LAN products."
New Members Join WiGig Alliance
WiGig Alliance has experienced steady growth with four new members joining in Q4, with total membership approaching 30 industry-leading companies. NVIDIA has joined the organization's board of directors, and AMD, SK Telecom and TMC have joined as contributor members. Semiconductor industry pillars NVIDIA and AMD boost the organization's support for PC wireless display applications. SK Telecom, the largest South Korean telecommunications company, and TMC, an independent testing and certification lab headquartered in China, add depth and bring additional expertise to the organization.
"NVIDIA recognizes the general market trend toward wire-free interfaces. Today, display interfaces are at an inflection point where the next generation solutions will feature wireless display connections for PCs, game consoles, notebooks and mobile devices with PC monitors and TVs," said Devang Sachdev, Technology Marketing Manager at NVIDIA and WiGig Board Member. "NVIDIA supports open standards for wireless transmission of data for display and interfaces such as PCIe, USB, etc., and we see this as aligned with WiGig's work."
"We are extremely proud that the extent of our membership includes world leaders from the consumer electronics, mobile and PC segments. This diversity of representation and participation is enabling WiGig to deliver innovative wireless solutions that will meet market demand in a timely manner," said Sadri.
The completed specification will be made available to WiGig members in Q1 2010. For more information, visit www.wigig.org.
About the WiGig Alliance
The WiGig Alliance envisions a global wireless ecosystem of interoperable, extremely high performance consumer electronics, handheld devices and personal computers that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age. WiGig technology enables multi-gigabit-speed wireless communications among these devices and fuels industry convergence to a single radio using the readily available, unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. By bringing together the leading manufacturers of semiconductors, personal computers, consumer electronics and handheld devices, WiGig Alliance is creating a comprehensive specification to drive a global ecosystem of easy-to-use, interoperable, high speed wireless products.
Among the companies that comprise the WiGig Alliance board of directors are Atheros Communications, Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Dell Inc., Intel Corporation, LG Electronics Inc., Marvell International LTD., MediaTek Inc., Microsoft Corporation, NEC Corporation, Nokia Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corporation and Wilocity. These companies are joined by contributors that include Agilent Technologies Inc., AMD, Beam Networks, NXP, Ralink Technology Corporation, Realtek, SK Telecom, STMicroelectronics, Tensorcom, Inc., Texas Instruments and TMC. For more information, please visit www.wigig.org.