By Ali Sadri, President and Chairman of the WiGig Alliance,  

Ali SadriThe widespread availability and use of digital multimedia content has created a need for faster wireless connectivity that current commercial standards cannot support. This has driven demand for a single standard that can support advanced applications such as wireless display and docking.

The Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance was formed to meet this need by establishing a wireless technology operating in the unlicensed 60 gigahertz band that promises data rates of up to 7 gigabits a second, or more than 10 times the speed of the fastest wifi networks available today. The band has much more spectrum available than the 2.4 or 5 gigahertz bands used by existing wifi products, allowing wider channels that support faster transmission speeds.

Last year was very successful for us with the publication of three new Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) specifications, the WiGig Display Extension (WDE) and WiGig Serial Extension (WSE) in December 2011 following on from the WiGig Bus Extension (WBE) in June. The WiGig MAC/PHY specifications were also published in 2011.

With these achievements in mind we have reached a major milestone with the completion of all the necessary components of the first ever multi-gigabit wireless docking specification. We have also hosted the first ever WiGig interoperability test event, received ITU-R endorsement and formed a docking task group chartered with creating the world’s first multi-gigabit wireless docking specification. Now industry momentum is really growing and I am pleased to see analysts such as NPD In-Stat predicting that WiGig is likely to emerge as the most popular wireless HD video technology.

So what’s next for the WiGig Allliance?

We are now calling for even more developer involvement in the creation of the world’s first unified specification for multi-gigabit wireless docking. At the inception of WiGig Alliance back in 2009 we envisioned the realisation of innovative and interoperable multi-gigabit wireless connectivity among PCs, consumer electronics and hand-held devices. We are now close to making this a commercial reality with first release of certified WiGig products scheduled for early 2013.

The WiGig Alliance continues to gather additional industry momentum with product developments moving forward at great pace. I am confident that WiGig will soon become the world’s most important multi-gigabit wireless technology found in many products. We are going to see a real shake up of the industry.

ZTE, one of China’s flagship telecoms equipment and services suppliers to the world market, recently joined the impressive list of WiGig members representing the industry’s top chipmakers and consumer electronics manufacturers from around the world. And in February Huawei joined the board of directors too. These world-leading tech companies are seeing WiGig as a desirable and interesting technology.

We have also increased our presence in Asia with a new office opening in Taipei. The plan is to host a series of technical briefings on every continent during 2012 starting in Asia in April and June. These will take place at the new office launch and then at Computex. The main objective is to share information about WiGig systems with leaders in the consumer electronics industry.

WiGig products are already coming onto the market now but official certification from the WiGig Alliance will not be available until early 2013. Once certification has been finalised we are likely to see an upsurge in the number of interesting products coming to market using this exciting technology. Just think, wires, excessive battery use and clogged up networks could be a thing of the past!

About the Author
Dr. Ali Sadri is the president and chairman of the board of WiGig Alliance and Director of the Intel Mobile Wireless Group; WPAN and mmWave standards and technology. As our leader, Dr. Sadri directs all activities throughout WiGig Alliance – from leading the board of directors to providing support for the technical working groups. Sadri has more than 20 years of experience in engineering and engineering management starting at IBM and at Intel Corporation. His expertise is in Wireless Communications theory, channel modeling, power control, beamforming, and adaptive modulation techniques. He holds more than 20 issued patents in communications and wireless technologies.

Posted by Ron M. Seidel, Editorial Intern

April 5, 2012