The courtship between the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance is set to end in marriage.
The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless
Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance have executed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) outlining their plans to
consolidate activity in Wi-Fi Alliance.
The Wi-Fi Alliance says that the agreement builds on more than two years of collaboration between
the organizations, in which WiGig Alliance developed
the WiGig technology specifications
including MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation Layers (PALs)
and Wi-Fi Alliance initiated work to develop an
interoperability certification for 60 GHz products.
WiGig can deliver up to 7Gbps of theoretical throughput, much more than even the 802.11ac flavor of Wi-Fi that is now coming out in many network and mobile devices. But because it operates over 60GHz spectrum, it is intended mostly for use within a room. Vendors are aiming the system initially at device-to-device functions such as wireless docking, synchronization and linking to displays.
"This is an exciting technology, and has been an
important highlight of our certification roadmap for
some time, so we are delighted to take this step," said
Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa.
"Combining the expertise of Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig
Alliance will deliver a terrific user experience with
60 GHz solutions, and will help ensure that a full
range of interoperable WiGig solutions reaches the
market as quickly as possible."
WiGig technology has continued to gain
momentum, and will soon bring users closer to a future
of wireless connectivity complementing
the traditional Wi-Fi networking. WiGig offers
short-range multi-gigabit connections for applications
ranging from high-definition WiGig Display Extensions
(WDE), to peripheral connectivity and I/O cable
replacement such as WiGig Serial Extension (WSE), WiGig
Bus Extension (WBE) and WiGig SDIO Extension (WDS).
Early 60 GHz implementations based on the WiGig
specifications are entering the market now and ABI
Research forecasts that by 2016, annual shipments of
devices with both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology will reach
"We set out four years ago with the simple goal of
realizing a global wireless ecosystem of interoperable,
high-performance devices that would operate seamlessly.
In that time there have been many challenges to
overcome but we have now created a market that simply
did not previously exist. Consolidating activities with
the Wi-Fi Alliance at this juncture will ensure WiGig's
mainstream success to the benefit of technology users
everywhere," said Dr Ali Sadri, President and Chairman
of the WiGig Alliance.
"It's clear that 60 GHz technology is an important part
of the future of wireless connectivity, and a
significant complement to traditional Wi-Fi
networking," said Peter Cooney, practice director for
semiconductors at ABI Research. "With so many devices
expected to incorporate both traditional Wi-Fi and
WiGig, it just makes sense for activities to
consolidate under the Wi-Fi Alliance organization."
The first Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability
certification program for WiGig products is targeted to
launch late this year.
Under the terms of the MOU, the organizations will
enter a period of diligence and planning, with the
intent to complete transition of both the technology
development activity and WiGig assets to Wi-Fi Alliance
by the middle of 2013.