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SiBeam working on 4K wireless video streaming for mobile

MHL has been demoing its new 4K superMHL standard for mobile, while SiBeam wants to remove cables completely with its wireless UltraGig technology.

Published onMarch 20, 2015


Google’s Chromecast, NVIDIA’s SHIELD console and Sony’s PS4 Remote Play app have brought wireless streaming and Android into the living room, but transmitting even higher resolution video content at a high frame rate is going to require faster connections and capable hardware on both ends. Fortunately, such technologies are on the way.

Beginning with an old favorite, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) maintains one of the most popular industry standards for mobile audio/video to HDTV interfacing and the company is all set to make the jump to 4K support.

Transmitting even higher resolution video content at a high frame rate is going to require faster connections and capable hardware on both ends. Fortunately, such technologies are on the way.

At its booth at MWC, MHL demonstrated 4K video running on its new Super-MHL standard, being passed from mobile to TV using a USB Type-C connector, so it’s already future proofed for next-gen products. This new standard also allows for touch displays, keyboards or mice to send data alongside the regular video output, allowing for inputs to be send back and forth between different devices. This technology means that your smartphone can be used almost completely power other devices, such as a laptop or desktop, which could be handy if you need your data to be ultra-portable (see top image).

If wires aren’t your thing, SiBeam, a subsidiary of Silicon Image, has recently unveiled its own range of faster wireless technologies, designed to speed up the transfer of files and video content over the air. SiBeam produces a range of integrated circuits for wireless applications and has a couple of new products in development for mobile devices. The first is known as Snap, and allows for high-speed wireless data transfers over short distances.

Galaxy Note 4 Wireless Charging Accessories-61
Combining wireless charging with wireless data transfers would end the need for a USB cable.

On their own, wireless charging stations only solve half of the cable management issue, some people still use USB to transfer files between their PC and phone. SiBeam’s Snap IC will allow for 12Gb/s of bi-directional throughput for wireless video and data transfers, allowing integrated charging stations, such as those which use Qi, to also act as a wireless USB, HDMI or DisplayPort connector.

We’ll end where we began, with in home streaming. SiBeam’s new UltraGig technology is designed for high-speed indoor wireless networking and will be made available in two new chips, the SB6501 and SB6510. The technology supports next-gen 802.11ad WiFi (also known as WiGig®), offers up to 7Gb/s of bandwidth and can operate on the unlicensed 60GHz spectrum.

SiBream wireless bandwidth
SiBeams touts vastly superior network speeds over traditional WiFi with its 60GHz technology.

In terms of content, this is fast enough for wireless 4K video transfers from your tablet to other devices. It has also been demoed streaming a 60fps 1080p gameplay without any noticeable latency, which would be ideal for next-gen wireless gaming ideas like the NVIDIA Shield or a faster Chromecast.

Compatible products have not been confirmed yet, but we should hope to see devices sporting these, or similar, technologies make their way to market later in the year.