Intel’s Launches WiDi 3.5: Faster, Lower Latency, Miracast Certified, USB Support

Intel is leveling up its Wireless Display (WiDi) technology that was first introduced two years ago. The newest iteration -- version 3.5 -- adds a bunch of nifty new features that expand its capabilities, and of course implements support for Windows 8 and its touch-friendly interface.

Before we dive into the new features, let's backtrack a quick moment. Intel's WiDi technology, if you're not familiar, cuts the cord and allows supported laptops and Ultrabooks to connect to a TV wirelessly. All that's required is a supported platform (Arrandale, Clarkdale, Sandy Bridge, and Ivy Bridge systems), an Intel wireless adapter, and a WiDi receiver, which you plug into your HDTV.

Intel WiDi 3.5

Version 3.5 of Intel's WiDi technology ups the ante with a 10x reduction in latency, though you'll need an Ivy Bridge system paired with the latest adapters to see that kind of improvement. It also adds support for streaming USB devices, so if the receiver is equipped with USB ports, you'll have access to wireless USB HID devices like keyboards and mice.

Much to the delight of the WiFi Alliance, Intel's latest generation WiFi protocol is Miracast certified. The upside for consumers is that anything with a Miracast label attached should work with WiDi, which makes it easier to shop for consumer electronic devices, both big (HDTVs) and small (smartphones). According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Miracast-certified devices are on pace to exceed one billion units within the next four years.

"Wi-Fi users around the world want to experience multimedia on the device of their choice - no matter what brand - and Miracast is the breakthrough they have been waiting for," said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "We have been delighted with the level of enthusiasm and support among our member companies for this new offering."

Intel WiDi

In short, the new WiDi spec is faster than before (Intel claims 60ms latency on Ivy Bridge systems and 250ms on Sandy Bridge, using one of the new adapters), better supported, and has the ability to stream Full HD and 3D content.