We already heard that Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba would be delivering 60GHz wireless products in the latter half of this year, but it looks like a whole heap of other companies will be as well after this bombshell drops. The Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig (which just nailed down a final spec in December) have finally got their respective ducks in a row, and thanks to a new partnership announced today, 60GHz WiFi products are now possible. For those unaware, 60GHz airwaves are typically reserved for high-bandwidth applications -- think streaming a Blu-ray flick from a player to an HDTV sans any cabling. The two will be working in unison in order to create a next-generation certification program for products operating in the 60GHz band, and best of all, a "significant portion, if not all, of these devices are expected to also support traditional WiFi networking in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands." There's no mention of when exactly the first 60GHz WiFi wares will begin to ship, but we can certainly say we're eager to update this here tutorial when tri-band becomes reality.

Update:
The rival WirelessHD alliance (updated to 1.1 today with support for 3DTV, HDCP 2.0, data applications and data rates in excess of 10Gbps) says it will support WiGig with dual-mode WirelessHD/WiGig silicon now available from SiBeam for sampling. Hey, what would a standard be if we didn't have options?
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WI-FI ALLIANCE® And WIGIG™ ALLIANCE TO COOPERATE ON EXPANSION OF WI-FI TECHNOLOGIES

Liaison agreement will enable technology sharing for program development


Austin, TX and Tokyo, Japan – May 10, 2010 – The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig Alliance) today announced a cooperation agreement for multi-gigabit wireless networking. The Wi-Fi Alliance and the WiGig Alliance will share technology specifications for the development of a next-generation Wi-Fi Alliance certification program supporting Wi-Fi® operation in the 60 GHz frequency band. This agreement further encourages the development of products supporting 60 GHz technology to expand existing Wi-Fi capabilities.

Device connectivity in the 60 GHz band will complement the current family of Wi-Fi technologies. Targeted primarily for applications that require gigabit speeds, 60 GHz products are expected to be used in a wide range of high-performance devices. A significant portion, if not all, of these devices are expected to also support traditional Wi-Fi networking in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

"60 GHz device connectivity will be an exciting enhancement to the capabilities of today's Wi-Fi technologies. It will expand the utility of Wi-Fi, used by hundreds of millions of people every day," said Wi-Fi Alliance chief executive officer Edgar Figueroa. "From its inception, the WiGig specification was designed to work on a wide variety of devices, making it a compelling input as we begin to define our certification program for 60 GHz wireless."

"Now that our specification is complete and published, it's time to set our sights on driving a great user experience through interoperability and certification," said Dr. Ali Sadri, president and chairman of the WiGig Alliance. "We are happy to work with the Wi-Fi Alliance to extend multi-gigabit capabilities to the Wi-Fi technology portfolio."

The WiGig Alliance, which shares many member companies in common with the Wi-Fi Alliance, was formed to unify the next generation of multi-gigabit wireless products by encouraging the adoption and widespread use of 60 GHz wireless technology worldwide.

The WiGig specification defines protocols to deliver data transfer rates measured in gigabits rather than megabits and supports a new range of applications and usages. The specification also defines procedures to enable WiGig compliant devices to hand over sessions to operate in the 2.4 or 5 GHz band. It is expected that a new class of tri-band Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices will offer multi-gigabit wireless speeds while helping to ensure backward compatibility.

"There is no question that this agreement will enable 60 GHz technology to form an important part of the high-performance future for wireless networking," said Phil Solis, practice director for Wireless Connectivity at ABI Research. "By cooperating, the groups have set a course for interoperability and backward compatibility that will accelerate the adoption and usefulness of multi-gigabit wireless networking."

For more information, visit www.wi-fi.org and www.wigig.org.

About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program was launched in March 2000. It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products deliver the best user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 7,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, WMM®, Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA), the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, the Wi-Fi logo, the Wi-Fi ZONE logo, and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance; Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, Wi-Fi Direct™, Wi-Fi Protected Setup™, Wi-Fi Multimedia™, and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

About the WiGig Alliance

The WiGig Alliance was formed to establish a global ecosystem of, high-speed and easy-to-use wireless devices that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age. WiGig technology enables multi‐gigabit wireless communications among consumer electronics, handheld devices and PCs, and fuels industry convergence to a single radio using the readily available, unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. The organization brings together the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductors, personal computers, consumer electronics and handheld devices. For more information, please visit www.wigig.org.


Wireless Gigabit Alliance and WiGig are trademarks of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance.

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WiGig Alliance Publishes Multi-Gigabit Wireless Specification and Launches Adopter Program

Cisco Joins WiGig Board of Directors as Organization Drives Toward a Unified
Ecosystem of Computing, Communications and Entertainment Devices


TOKYO – May 10, 2010 – The Wireless Gigabit Alliance™ (WiGig), the organization advancing the worldwide adoption and use of 60 GHz wireless technology, today announced the publication of its unified wireless specification and the opening of its Adopter Program. WiGig adopter members can now begin developing wireless products that use the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum to deliver multi-gigabit-speed wireless communications.

The WiGig specification enables high performance wireless data, display and audio applications that supplement the capabilities of today's wireless LAN devices. WiGig tri-band enabled devices, which operate in the 2.4, 5 and 60 GHz bands, will deliver data transfer rates up to 7 Gbps, more than 10 times faster than the highest 802.11n rate while maintaining compatibility with existing Wi-Fi devices. Additionally, the technology was designed to support a multitude of applications on both low power and high performance devices, including consumer electronics, PCs, handheld devices and home networking equipment. As a result, WiGig can create a global ecosystem of entertainment, computing and communications devices that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age.

"On behalf of the WiGig Alliance, I'm extremely proud to announce the publication of the industry's first comprehensive multi-gigabit wireless specification," said Dr. Ali Sadri, WiGig Alliance president and chairman. "WiGig can now provide the world's leading innovators with a license to develop next-generation wireless products under royalty-free terms. With this announcement today, and with our new partnership with the Wi-Fi Alliance, we are one step closer to fulfilling our vision of a unified 60 GHz ecosystem. We welcome all companies to join with us as we continue to drive the industry forward."

Cisco Joins Board of Directors
The WiGig Alliance continues to attract industry-leading technology companies to its roster. Cisco has joined the WiGig Alliance Board of Directors, and Harman International, Peraso Technologies and Samsung Electro-Mechanics have also joined WiGig as contributing members.

"Cisco sees 60 GHz technology as an important option in the evolution of wireless LANs in the enterprise, small business and home," said Bob Friday, Director of Strategic Initiatives of Cisco's Wireless Business Unit. "The wireless arena is certainly one in which Cisco can contribute greatly, especially as networks and information access become increasingly borderless by nature."


"WiGig shows enormous potential to drive the kind of wireless performance that businesses and consumers need," said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst, Enderle Group. "The organization has brought together a critical mass of diverse industry leaders, and with the publication of its unified specification, WiGig is enabling the next generation of multi-gigabit wireless products for multiple platforms and applications."

For information about becoming a WiGig adopter member, visit www.wigig.org/join/.

About the WiGig Alliance
The WiGig Alliance was formed to establish a global ecosystem of high-speed and easy-to-use wireless devices that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age. WiGig technology enables multi‐gigabit‐speed wireless communications among consumer electronics, handheld devices and PCs, and drives industry convergence to a single radio using the readily available, unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. The organization brings together the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductors, personal computers, consumer electronics and handheld devices. For more information, please visit www.wigig.org.

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Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig sync up for 60GHz WiFi