Skip to main content

WiGig Alliance Pushing Wi-Fi to Multi-Gigabit Territory

The WiGig Alliance has published a new multi-gigabit wireless communications specification that promises to take at least short-range Wi-Fi to multi-gigabit speeds, offering capacities of up to 7 Gbps, or about 10 times faster than existing Wi-Fi connections. The added capacity would be enough to push lossless high-definition video and audio around homes, potentially making WiGig the solution for wireless high-definition home theater technology—and it would be backward compatible with existing Wi-Fi devices.

“WiGig can now provide the world’s leading innovators with a license to develop next-generation wireless products under royalty-free terms,” said WiGig chairman and president Dr. Ali Sadri, in a statement. “With this announcement today, and with our new partnership with the Wi-Fi Alliance, we are one step closer to fulfilling our vision of a unified 60 GHz ecosystem.”

The technology exploits the unregulated 60 GHz frequency band to enable high-bandwidth data transfer in close proximity, such as in the same room. Industry watchers don’t expect the technology show up in consumer devices for a couple of years; some expect the first device to employ the technology will be high-definition television sets and Blu-ray players, with portable devices like camcorders coming long later.

However, the Wireless HD Consortium isn’t taking WiGig’s technology sitting down: it also operates in the 60 GHz space, and just announced version 1.1 of its WirelessHD specification with support for HDCP 2.0, 3DTV, HD resolutions up to four times higher than 1080p, and data rates from 10 to 28 Gbps. WirelessHD initially focused on wireless high-definition video and audio solutions, but is also now moving into the pure data transmission arena. WirelessHD continues to aim at the high end of the market installed market and, so far, hasn’t focused strongly on portable devices.

Both groups boast several major industry players as backers, and in fact several major electronics firms are members of both consortiums. From a compatibility point of view, WiGig would seem to have an advantage by being backward compatible with existing Wi-Fi gear, but WirelessHD would seem to have the edge on quality and bandwidth. It’s possible the technologies could co-exist, with companies offering both systems, potentially even in the same products. However, despite years of promises, wireless high-definition video solutions have yet to catch hold in the consumer marketplace.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
These new Eero PoE devices are for serious Wi-Fi setups only
The Eero PoE 6 with the price listed.

At the annual Amazon hardware event, router company Eero has announced two new devices for serious connectivity: the Eero PoE 6 and Eero PoE Gateway. These are not for your average Wi-Fi setup.

PoE, or power over ethernet, is a way of bringing wireless connectivity to wired infrastructures, especially made for professional installers and businesses. The Eero PoE 6 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 access point that covers up to 2,000 square feet of space with connectivity, including connections for more than 100 devices. Eero says it can go "almost anywhere ethernet cable can be pulled," including being mounted flush to surfaces like walls or ceilings.

Read more
This dongle can bring a superfast Wi-Fi 6 connection to your old computer
The Netgear Nighthawk A8000 Wi Fi 6 adapter

To upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 you would customarily need to buy an entirely new laptop or replace the Wi-Fi card in your desktop. Netgear has come up with a clever way to avoid this. The Netgear Nighthawk A8000 adapter simply plugs into any USB slot and brings instant Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to your computer.

What it does is retroactively bring Wi-Fi 6 to older computers, allowing them to enjoy the same high bandwidth and speeds as brand-new top-of-the-line machines with Wi-Fi 6-capable receivers. It supports all three Wi-Fi bands -- 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz -- and can deliver blazing speeds of up to 1.2GBps, which is comparable to an ethernet connection. However, there is a catch.

Read more
This new gaming monitor has a built-in Wi-Fi antenna
Phantom gaming monitor PG34WQ15R2B and PG27FF1A models.

The Taiwanese brand ASRock is getting more into the gaming market, now introducing its first gaming monitors, one with a never-before-seen integrated Wi-Fi antenna feature on such a product.

The Phantom gaming monitors include the PG34WQ15R2B and PG27FF1A models, but the first is the one with the integrated antenna.

Read more