WiGig Hits Milestone Towards 7Gbps Wireless

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The WiGig Alliance has completed specifications so 7Gbps wireless links could be here next year

The Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance has completed a “major milestone” toward its multi-gigabit wireless specification, paving the way for devices using the 60GHz standard to begin shipping next year.

WiGig said on Monday it has published its final two low-level protocol adaptation layer (PAL) specifications, the WiGig Display Extension (WDE) and the WiGig Serial Extension (WSE), which join the WiGig Bus Extension (WBE) and MAC/PHY specifications.

Pairing effort

With the low-level specifications complete, the group said it has launched an effort to define the upper layers of its software stack, including standards for functions such as pairing devices.

“We have reached a major milestone this year with the completion of all the necessary components of the first ever multi-gigabit wireless docking specification,” the Alliance said in a statement.

The Display Extension supports HDMI and DisplayPort video over WiGig, while the Serial Extension supports USB 3.0 over the technology, enabling WiGig to be integrated into wireless USB peripherals.

WiGig, based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, is designed to allow devices such as PCs, docking stations and laptops to communicate over short distances at up to 7Gbps, with early test chips showing real-world throughput of 3.5Gbps to 4.5Gbps.

While it delivers high speeds, it doesn’t penetrate walls and thus is intended mainly for in-room use.

Next-generation Wi-Fi

WiGig is expected to complement other standards such as 802.11ac, expected to be the next iteration of Wi-Fi, which should be able to sustain throughput of around 1Gbps throughout a house.

The upper-level specifications are intended for completion by the end of 2012, allowing for certification and mass shipments of devices. Start-up Wilocity has said it is already sampling processors, which will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, ahead of device shipments later in the year.

The WiGig Alliance held its first plugfest in October, and aims to hold quarterly interoperability tests for manufacturers through 2012.

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