NEWS: Wi-Fi, WirelessHD Cozy up to WiGig Standard

The Wireless Gigabit Alliance may be on its way to dominating the market for multi-gigabit in-room wireless networks after the powerful Wi-Fi Alliance said it would study the group's specification as part of Wi-Fi certification and a key rival announced it would include WiGig in dual-mode chips.

The WiGig Alliance last month released a specification for wireless networks that use frequencies in the 60GHz band for throughput as high as 7G bps (bits per second). The 60GHz band is just beginning to be used for consumer applications but may be attractive for future uses such as streaming high-definition video because it can offer such high speeds, albeit without the range to cover an average home. Unlicensed frequencies are available in the band in most countries, according to WiGig.

Under an agreement that is being announced Monday, the Wi-Fi Alliance will evaluate WiGig technology for integration into its future 60GHz specification. As part of the same agreement, the WiGig group will gain access to Wi-Fi Alliance specifications so it can further align its own technology to those standards.

Also on Monday, SiBeam, the main proponent of an alternative 60GHz technology called WirelessHD, said it is now making dual-mode WirelessHD/WiGig silicon. The chips are available now in sample quantities, and SiBeam will have a reference design for customers in June, said SiBeam President and CEO John LeMoncheck. Unlike the developers of WiGig, SiBeam is already shipping chips that are being integrated into consumer electronics products such as TVs. But it is the only significant chip maker behind WirelessHD.


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John Navas
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