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WiGig Alliance to push for fast wireless streaming

Stephen Lawson | May 7, 2009
The group, with Intel and Microsoft's backing, wants to use unlicensed 60GHz spectrum for in-room applications

WirelessHD is designed to deliver about 4Gbps for consumer applications, and WHDI promises about 3Gbps. But unlike those systems, WiGig can be used for true IP (Internet Protocol) networking just as Wi-Fi can, Grodzinsky said. In addition to streaming HD video, it could be used for docking laptop PCs or netbooks to a large display, a set of speakers and a hard drive, he said. The group is developing tools in its specification to throttle back power consumption when possible, and WiGig shouldn't affect battery life any more than Wi-Fi, he said.

The group chose the 60GHz band because it's available without a license and almost unused in most countries, according to Sadri. WiGig isn't alone in targeting this band, as SiBeam's WirelessHD chips already use it.

WiGig has an impressive lineup of backers, but its timing may be a hindrance, according to In-Stat analyst Brian O'Rourke.

"The road to WiGig silicon in products on the market is a long way off, perhaps as long as two years. In the meantime, 60GHz silicon is already available from SiBeam, and Amimon also has a wireless HD transmission chip technology on the market," O'Rourke wrote in a research note. In addition, because of the high frequency, he thinks it's unlikely for WiGig to cover a whole house unless it's used in conjunction with Wi-Fi. "Using WiGig technology alone to accomplish this will be a Herculean task, likely requiring the use of some type of repeater in the home," O'Rourke wrote.


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