Networking

Introducing the Wireless Gigabit Alliance

The Wireless Gigabit Alliance formally launches with a vision of wireless networking in excess of 1Gbps.

The short version of the group's name – WiGig – is a bit unfortunate, considering that you sometimes see the acronym WIGIG standing for “When it's gone, it's gone.”

The IDG News Service reported on the group's formation, and noted that there have been several attempts at taking advantage of unlicensed 60GHz spectrum for high-speed wireless communications. You may have heard of UWB, or Ultra WideBand, for instance, which went gently into that good night in March. And Craig Mathias blogs about the other competing standards, such as WHDI and WirelessHD – but says that the really interesting part about WiGig is that it might actually result in products in as little as a year.

As we discussed last time, bandwidth traditionally has been one of the sticking points, one of the reasons why we can't quite move to wireless for all network access connections. Certainly, 802.11n alleviates that concern, but gigabit speeds would put it to bed.

The group has some heavy hitters on its board, including Atheros, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, LG, Marvell, MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung and start-up Wilocity.

Among the applications that the group lists for high-speed wireless are instantaneous file transfers, wireless displays and docks, and streaming of high-definition media. Portable devices could offload computing to a nearby base station – which means those devices could become smaller, lighter and cheaper, the group says.

All of this sounds great, as long as they don't call it “WIGIG.” Maybe WGA would be better.

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