Wilocity promises 802.11ad phones in 2013
LAS VEGAS--An emerging variant of the Wi-Fi standard that can transmit HD video could find its way into smartphones starting in 2013, according to one of the technology's loudest supporters.
Wilocity's technology imagines a future where Wi-Fi devices would use three unlicensed frequency bands, adding the 60 GHz band to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands that already exist in Wi-Fi n devices.
Wilocity, which builds silicon for the 802.11ad standard, said its technology will be included in ultrabooks and notebooks selling sometime this year, and by next year it will be included in smartphones. Tal Tamir, the company's CEO and co-founder, said the company is currently in discussions with a number of electronics manufacturers on the topic, but declined to provide details.
Wilocity is one of the most vocal proponents of the 802.11ad standard, which is being pushed by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, dubbed WiGig. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Samsung, Nvidia and others are members of the WiGig Alliance, which is working with the IEEE to standardize 802.11ad. The standard promises to transmit data at up to 7 Gbps over short distances in the 60 GHz band (so it would work within a room, but due to the spectrum band signals likely wouldn't pass through walls).
Wilocity's Tamir explained that 802.11ad isn't a replacement for regular old Wi-Fi, but is instead a transmission standard intended to wirelessly connect electronics components. Specifically, he said the technology could allow users to carry one computing device like a tablet or phone and connect that device to components including storage drives, external monitors and keyboards. Due to the transmission speeds supported by 802.11ad, devices like phones could potentially store HD movies and then wirelessly display them on big-screen TVs--all without cables.
"WiGig/802.11ad continues to build momentum as the next Wi-Fi wave, bringing unbounded capacity to any mobile platform," Tamir said. "We are leading the charge in totally eliminating the need for cords and connectors, enabling virtually any mobile device--such as a tablet, notebook, ultrabook or smartphone--to act as a hub for high-speed connectivity and data transfer."
Of course, Wilocity isn't alone in its attempts to remove cables and connections from users' various electronic devices. Moreover, 802.11ad isn't the only advanced Wi-Fi standard on the market. For example, Broadcom, Quantenna Communications and Redpine Signals are working to popularize 802.11ac, which is said to offer peak data rates of 1 Gbps or more depending on how it is implemented, compared to the 600 Mbps peak data rate possible via 802.11n.