Atheros and Wilocity will collaborate on tri-band chips capable of supporting WiFi in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and the WiGig Wireless Gigabit specification in the 60 GHz band.
WiGig, which is expected to transmit at a rate of 7 Gbps, is seen as a direct line-of-sight technology for transmitting HD video in the home. The two companies expect the chip to scale to the types of volumes and price points that WiFi enjoys.
Wilocity, formed by ex-Intel Centrino employees, first advocated the formation of the IEEE 802.11 Task Group working to accelerate 802.11n using 60 GHz and also led in the creation of the Wi-Fi Alliance's 60 GHz Gigabit Wireless Marketing Task Group. The Wi-Fi Alliance has also been developing a standard at 60 GHz called IEEE 802.11AD and has indicated that WiGig looks to be complementary to WiFi, especially since Intel, Broadcom and Atheros all have plans to integrate the technology into WiFi chipsets. The addition of the standard would enable users to switch to WiGig for more speed.
Atheros and Wilocity said they see tri-band chips as enhancing wireless devices by enabling a number of new computing and entertainment applications. The companies also mentioned laptops and handsets sending gigabyte type files between them and HDTVs. The two companies haven't given any timelines on a completed chip. Many experts have said marrying WiFi and WiGig will be a challenging task.
- see this Rethink Wireless article
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