Wi-Fi Alliance taking over WiGig development

The Wi-Fi Alliance is about to absorb the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance and intends to initiate an interoperability certification program for WiGig products later this year.

By merging WiGig and Wi-Fi development activities, supporters of the technologies say they expect to ensure closely harmonized connectivity and application-layer solutions going forward.

WiGig operates in the unlicensed 60 GHz band and offers short-range multi-gigabit connections with speeds up to 7 Gbps. Initial applications are expected to include ultrabooks and peripherals, which will employ the technology for docking and display applications, according to ABI Research. Tablets will subsequently include the technology, primarily for media streaming, and smartphones will drive more widespread WiGig adoption from 2015 onward.

WiGig devices are just starting to ship, and many are expected to also include Wi-Fi connectivity. ABI forecasts that by 2016, annual shipments of devices with both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology will reach 1.8 billion. "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," said Peter Cooney, ABI practice director for semiconductors.

ABI said in November that the ratification of the 802.11ad standard will encourage more Wi-Fi IC vendors to add 802.11ad to future tri-band solutions bringing together, for example, 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ad.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance specifies that the organizations expect to complete the transition of both the technology development activity and WiGig assets to Wi-Fi Alliance by the middle of 2013.

The MoU builds on more than two years of collaboration between the organizations. Back in May 2010, the two groups announced an agreement under which the Wi-Fi Alliance would evaluate WiGig technology for integration into its future 60 GHz specification, while the WiGig Alliance gained access to Wi-Fi alliance specs so it could align its own technology to those standards

The Wi-Fi Alliance is based in Austin, Texas, while the WiGig Alliance's headquarters is in Santa Clara, Calif.

For more:
- see this Wi-Fi Alliance release

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