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WiGig technology to reach smartphones and tablets in the near future

March 27, 2012
wigig smartphones tablets

If you ever wondered where the IT industry will go from Wi-Fi, the answer (at least a part of it) is WiGig, a new technology that allows for wireless data transfer rates of up to 7 Gbps, an impressive 10 times faster than 802.11n Wi-Fi. However, due to the fact that these high speeds are obtained by using the 60GHz band, the range of action is drastically lowered to no more than a few meters, not to mention the signal’s inability to pass through walls. Despite this disadvantages, however, WiGig remains a great way to transfer/stream files between devices.

In addition, judging by the fact that founding WiGig Alliance members include companies such as Intel, AMD, Cisco, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and many others, WiGig is shaping up to be a standard that most big companies endorse, something equally important as actual performance when it comes to the global adoption of a standard. Backwards compatibility with current Wi-Fi standards, as well as the small price difference between WiGig and Wi-Fi chips should help with its adoption as well.

When the WiGig 1.0 standard was first released back in 2009, many believed that only stationary devices will able to use it, as the 60GHz band was considered to power-greedy to run on a battery. Fortunately for smartphone users of the future, this train of thought has stopped recently, as Panasonic has announced that they’ve developed a WiGig radio chip that sucks up less than one watt of power, making it especially suitable for smartphones and tablets. Although capable of speeds of ‘only’ up to 5Gbps, Panasonic claims that the chip is able to facilitate the transfer of 30 minutes of HD video in just 10 seconds, definitely an impressive feat. The Panasonic-built WiGig chip is already commercially available, so I wouldn’t find it that strange if we bump into a WiGig enabled smartphone before 2012 ends.

Just don’t imagine that you’ll be able to use this tech in campuses, squares, or from one floor to another one in the same building. On the other hand, streaming HD video from your tablet to your TV might be something the WiGig technology will facilitate in the near future.