Home EuropeEurope I 2013 WiGig: multigigabit wireless applications

WiGig: multigigabit wireless applications

by david.nunes
Ali Sadri Issue:Europe I 2013
Article no.:8
Topic:WiGig: multigigabit wireless applications
Author:Ali Sadri
Title:President & Chairman
Organisation:WiGig Alliance
PDF size:298KB

About author

Dr. Ali Sadri is the President and Chairman of the board of the WiGig Alliance (now consolidated into the Wi-Fi Alliance) and Director of the Intel Mobile Wireless Group.

Dr. Sadri has more than 20 years of experience in engineering with BM and at Intel Corporation.

Article abstract

The capability to create and maintain a wireless desk, home or car effortlessly is promised by a new standard that operates in the 60 GHz band. The technology has recently been demonstrated at several industry events and certified products are expected to be released in 2014.

Full Article

A new standard, widely known as WiGig, that operates in the unlicensed 60 gigahertz (GHz) band promises data rates of up to seven gigabits a second, or more than ten times the speed of the fastest Wi-Fi networks available today. The band has much more spectrum available (up to 100 times wider bandwidth) than the 2.4 or 5 GHz bands used by existing Wi-Fi products. Wider channels could lead to simpler modulations, more efficient and much faster transmission speeds. In short, it is a globally available untapped resource that can improve people’s lives.

The ability to sync and go with multiple devices and transmit content to screens and displays, all connected seamlessly by WiGig, will become as important and taken for granted as technologies like WiFi and USB are today. Imagine no wires, yet all of your devices synchronizing masses of data cleverly and instantly, moving HD video and images interactively from one screen to another at the mere flick of a finger at blazing speed.

In essence the idea is simple. WiGig will wirelessly interconnect home entertainment and office devices, like PCs, tablets, smartphones and displays. And it will do so wirelessly thereby entirely removing the need for wires. It is predicted that certified products will be released in 2014. The connectivity is adaptable and efficient and is designed to be low power using a unique ‘beam forming’ technology to target its radio beams for the best direction and performance by bouncing the signal off the most appropriate reflector or surface at the best angle. Imagine a flashlight in your hand with the walls, floor and ceiling made up of mirrors.

The new standard

WiGig has now been approved by IEEE as 802.11ad. The media access control and physical layer (MAC/PHY) specifications authored by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance members were submitted to IEEE and have been used as the basis for the new standard. This means that WiGig MAC/PHY specification is completely aligned with the published 802.11ad standard. Gaining approval from a global standardization body gives the WiGig Alliance additional international recognition and moves it one step closer to widespread industry adoption.

WiGig technology demonstration

In September, WiGig’s multigigabit wireless docking was demoed by Intel CTO Justin Rattner at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in San Francisco at a presentation of the company’s vision of technology of the future. This was the first public WiGig Alliance demonstration of its technology for the ‘desktop without a wire’ usage model.

“Looking to the future, all computing will become wireless computing, with an ever-increasing demand for faster wireless communication,” said Mr Rattner. “I’m excited by what I’ve seen from WiGig technology so far – not only its multigigabit throughput capability, but also the flexibility of the single technology to support a wide range of CE and PC applications. I look forward to the day when docking my Ultrabook or tablet will not even need to be a conscious exercise – it will be as simple as dropping the device anywhere on my desk and having it automatically connect to a display and peripherals, no wires attached.”

Global industry support

Momentum is growing. Members of the WiGig Alliance met for the first Executive Summit during the 2012 Computex in Taipei. Support for the technology was evident in the testimonials made by industry professionals taking part.

At the summit Panasonic Tokyo R & D Center Director, Makoto Miwa, said that consumers create and use data in increasing amounts and affirmed there is no doubt about the benefits of WiGig for the fast transmission of large files. Meanwhile Broadcom Vice President, Craig Ochikubo, and Intel GM of Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Mobile and Communications Group, Yaniv Garty, agreed saying that the high WiGig transmission rate can meet consumers growing demand for large file transfers. In addition, Wilocity CEO, Tal Tamir, said his company has been established for five years, and began sampling WiGig chipsets to some customers at the beginning of this year.

Not just a clever pipe

WiGig’s success will not just be down to the vast amount of data it can transfer. The WiGIg Alliance has developed several unique and efficient Protocol Adaption Layers (PALs) to maximise its usability beyond what standard networking devices can do today. These specifications are called the WiGig Display Extension (WDE), WiGig Serial Extension (WSE), WiGig Bus Extension (WBE) and WiGig SDIO Extension (WSD). These PALs are necessary in the development of applications for PC, CE and handheld docking.

During the early stages of developing WiGig, the market was a little unsure about creating a new technology based on the 60 GHz band. However the technology is now widely recognised by the industry and there is no doubt about the support and determination to make WiGig a commercial success.

Intel demoing WiGig at IDF 2012 as a technology of the future is a landmark moment in the creation of the standard. Dell is the first company to have WiGig capability in their products.

The technology is ready and with chips already being shipped and certification ready for late 2013, there is likely to be a real explosion in the number of WiGig devices coming to market. The question is – are you ready for the applications it will enable?

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