WiGig improves WiFi (802.11) wireless protocol, but the path to glory is fraught with design challenges.
We’ve all written the phrase "quickening pace of change" so often over the decades it’s almost lost its impact. It’s become like a bowl of peanuts at a party: you expect to see it as part of the food spread but it never really sets your heart pounding. But now comes something that’s going to insert a little energy back into the phrase; something that really is going to change how fast change is coming to electronics system design.
It’s an improved version of the longstanding workhorse WiFi (802.11) wireless protocol, which in itself was a game-changer. It’s 802.11ad, also known as WiGig. It brings breathtakingly fast speed to the 60GHz range and has the potential to transform system design the way its grandfather, 802.11, did when it was first released in 1997.
The headline feature of the specification is that it transmits data at 7 Gb/second, lightning fast. Add to that beam-forming capability to push that data beyond 10 meters and protocol adaptation layers under development for use with data buses for PCs, monitors, and projectors and whole new application worlds open up. “The 60GHz standard has the means to deliver a wire-like performance in various environments, including pretty dense corporate environments,” said Yaron Kahana, Intel Corp.’s WiGig product manager. “It promises the best wireless display and the fastest wireless USB experience.”
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