WiGig promise 7 Gbps wireless with WiFi b/g/n compatibility

While the WiGig Alliance sounds like it should be an organisation promoting whirligig adoption, they actually busy themselves with wireless connectivity.  In fact, latest across the Wireless Gigabit Alliance's desk is a standard that takes backward compatibility with the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands used by WiFi 802.11 devices and throws in some 60GHz action for data transfer rates up to 7 Gbps.

That means significantly higher speeds than WiFi 802.11n is capable of currently, handy when you consider how many people are trying to shuffle high-definition media around their homes or back up huge quantities of data.  Backward compatibility, meanwhile, means older non-WiGig compliant devices with WiFi can still hook up to the same networks.  Cisco is fresh on-board, and sound pretty keen from their press release quote, so there's a fair chance we could see super-speedy wireless debuting relatively soon.

Press Release:


WiGig Alliance Publishes Multi-Gigabit Wireless Specification and Launches Adopter Program

Cisco Joins WiGig Board of Directors as Organization Drives Toward a Unified Ecosystem of Computing, Communications and Entertainment Devices

TOKYO – May 10, 2010 – The Wireless Gigabit Alliance™ (WiGig), the organization advancing the worldwide adoption and use of 60 GHz wireless technology, today announced the publication of its unified wireless specification and the opening of its Adopter Program. WiGig adopter members can now begin developing wireless products that use the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum to deliver multi-gigabit-speed wireless communications.

The WiGig specification enables high performance wireless data, display and audio applications that supplement the capabilities of today's wireless LAN devices. WiGig tri-band enabled devices, which operate in the 2.4, 5 and 60 GHz bands, will deliver data transfer rates up to 7 Gbps, more than 10 times faster than the highest 802.11n rate while maintaining compatibility with existing Wi-Fi devices. Additionally, the technology was designed to support a multitude of applications on both low power and high performance devices, including consumer electronics, PCs, handheld devices and home networking equipment. As a result, WiGig can create a global ecosystem of entertainment, computing and communications devices that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age.

"On behalf of the WiGig Alliance, I'm extremely proud to announce the publication of the industry's first comprehensive multi-gigabit wireless specification," said Dr. Ali Sadri, WiGig Alliance president and chairman. "WiGig can now provide the world's leading innovators with a license to develop next-generation wireless products under royalty-free terms. With this announcement today, and with our new partnership with the Wi-Fi Alliance, we are one step closer to fulfilling our vision of a unified 60 GHz ecosystem. We welcome all companies to join with us as we continue to drive the industry forward."

Cisco Joins Board of Directors

The WiGig Alliance continues to attract industry-leading technology companies to its roster. Cisco has joined the WiGig Alliance Board of Directors, and Harman International, Peraso Technologies and Samsung Electro-Mechanics have also joined WiGig as contributing members.

"Cisco sees 60 GHz technology as an important option in the evolution of wireless LANs in the enterprise, small business and home," said Bob Friday, Director of Strategic Initiatives of Cisco's Wireless Business Unit. "The wireless arena is certainly one in which Cisco can contribute greatly, especially as networks and information access become increasingly borderless by nature."

"WiGig shows enormous potential to drive the kind of wireless performance that businesses and consumers need," said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst, Enderle Group. "The organization has brought together a critical mass of diverse industry leaders, and with the publication of its unified specification, WiGig is enabling the next generation of multi-gigabit wireless products for multiple platforms and applications."

For information about becoming a WiGig adopter member, visit www.wigig.org/join/.

About the WiGig Alliance

The WiGig Alliance was formed to establish a global ecosystem of high-speed and easy-to-use wireless devices that work together seamlessly to connect people in the digital age. WiGig technology enables multi‐gigabit‐speed wireless communications among consumer electronics, handheld devices and PCs, and fuels industry convergence to a single radio using the readily available, unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. The organization brings together the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductors, personal computers, consumer electronics and handheld devices. For more information, please visit www.wigig.org.