Wi-Fi Alliance And WiGig Alliance Join To Deliver 60GHz Wi-Fi Products

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News Posted: Mon, May 10 2010 10:22 AM
Right now, most Wi-Fi routers run on the 2.4GHz wave. Most people whoset up routers in the home use the 2.4GHz band, with or without theirown knowledge or understanding. Some of the more technologically savvyusers may opt for a 5GHz transmission, which is more rarely used and isgenerally less saturated. Really savvy users may even use a dual-bandWi-Fi setup that relies on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for differenttypes of transmissions. But as of now, no one in the consumer realmuses the 60GHz band to transmit Wi-Fi signals.

That's all going to change in the upcoming months, as the Wi-FiAlliance and WiGig Alliance have allied themselves today in order tobeing 60GHz transmissions to the Wi-Fi products we all know and love.The two have announced a cooperation agreement for multi-gigabitwireless networking, and as with the introduction of the 1.1specification of WirelessHD, this news couldn't have come soon enough.Speeds of yesteryear aren't enough for tomorrow, and as with USB 2.0falling to USB 3.0, we need new specifications to push more megabytesover the air in a timely fashion.



The new alliance will let Wi-Fi products operate on the 60GHz band, andof course, this is targeted primarily for applications that requiregigabit speeds. HD streamers, wireless 1080p transfers and all sorts ofother high-bandwidth applications will benefit from being able toutilize 60GHz bands. Best of all, the new partnership has stated that"a significant portion, if not all, of these devices are expected toalsosupport traditional Wi-Fi networking in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands."

No mention is made of when 60GHz Wi-Fi products will ship to average consumers, but hopefully it won't be long now.

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

TheWiGig specification defines protocols to deliver data transfer ratesmeasured in gigabits rather than megabits and supports a new range ofapplications and usages. The specification also defines procedures toenable WiGig compliant devices to hand over sessions to operate in the2.4 or 5 GHz band. It is expected that a new class of tri-band Wi-FiCERTIFIED™ devices will offer multi-gigabit wireless speeds whilehelping to ensure backward compatibility.

"Thereis no question that this agreement will enable 60 GHz technology toform an important part of the high-performance future for wirelessnetworking," said Phil Solis, practicedirector for Wireless Connectivity at ABI Research. "By cooperating,the groups have set a course for interoperability and backwardcompatibility that will accelerate the adoption and usefulness ofmulti-gigabit wireless networking."


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Chainzsaw replied on Mon, May 10 2010 2:11 PM

With speeds like that, computers could do away completely with USB cables. I'm pretty sure they could scale it down to use hardly any power at all too.

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this is when cloud computing takes a new level right. Looks like soon we'll be paying to use powerful servers rather than building gaming computers. Lookinh forward to seeing this from everything from TV's to phones in the future.

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acarzt replied on Mon, May 10 2010 5:35 PM

The higher the frequency the "clearer" the signal. Sure they will be able to transmit more data.... but the problem with doing so is that the range is greatly reduced. The further you are from the source, the transfer speeds will be significantly reduced.

They will need to use some hardcore antennas to be able to blast this signal throughout someones homes. And this will be expensive.

It's just like AM vs FM. AM operates at a much lower frequency and travels significantly further, but clearity suffers. FM is much clearer, but cannot reach as far as AM at it's lower frequency.

If you recall 900Mhz phones and the incredible distance you could get with them. I could walk accross the street and it would still work. Then came 2.4Ghz, and suddenly I couldn't move so far from the house.

It will be nice to see the difference in speeds... but personally i'd rather just run some CAT6 cables through my house and operate on Gigabit lan :-)

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realneil replied on Tue, May 11 2010 10:09 AM

Buying into the technology is going to be a PITA for sure. First you need the router, and then you need adapters for all of your connected devices too. Or you can just go out and buy all new everything just to keep up with the rest of the neighborhood.

I don't think so.

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