60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year

60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year

Summary: Why do we use cables at all? Why not a wireless standard fast enough - over 4 Gbps - to handle all our home devices: GigE, SATA, video and USB 3.0? If the WiGig Alliance has their way, we will.


Why do we use cables at all? Why not a wireless standard fast enough - over 4 Gbps - to handle all our home devices: GigE, SATA, video and USB 3.0? If the WiGig Alliance has their way, we will.

The goal Replace all cables - except power/charging cables - with wireless that is fast enough to run any and all home network and device protocols: storage; video; network; PCIe; and USB.

What it is A 60 GHz, wide channel (57-66 GHz), power-efficient, 7 Gbps raw (4.6 Gbps payload) wireless channel. Running on a wi-fi backwards compatible chipset, giving you at least what you have now and more as you add new WiGig devices.

Who's doing it The WA is partnered with the Wi-Fi Alliance to drive this. The IEEE 802.11ad committee is developing a formal spec. And Wilocity, a new company, has partnered with Atheros to deliver a tri-band (2.4, 5 and 60 GHz) chipset.

Intel and Broadcom are also involved in the standards setting, meaning they are likely to produce chipsets as well.

Power efficiency WiGig is ideal for wireless devices that are too small for attaching a lot of cables and PCIe cards. But that's true only if it is power-efficient. And it is: 2 watts with 50µs latency.

When? Current 802.11ad schedule calls for finishing the spec in December 2012. But engineering projects never slip in - they always slip out. So figure 2013 for a completed spec.

But if the history of 802.11n is any guide vendors won't wait for a spec if the chips are ready. Expect pre-spec products late next year.

The Storage Bits take The ever-shifting bottlenecks in computing will move to mobile device architecture when WiGig ships. Few notebooks can drive any external device much beyond a gigabit today. And phones and tablets are far behind notebooks.

Don't expect wireless Nirvana. High-frequency signals can be easily stopped by many walls. Your WiGig network will look like islands of high-performance - living room, home office - not a seamless web of extreme bandwidth.

But it will still be a big improvement over today's slow Wi-Fi.

Comments welcome, of course. I saw the Wilocity preso at Storage Visions 2011, which is prior to CES. Now off to CES!

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Processors, Storage, Wi-Fi

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  • As long as I have to plug in power why not network cable?

    Come talk to me when they perfect that Wireless power I read about using harmonics and crystals. Then I can truly be wireless.
  • Why use cables?

    -Security: Wireless has proven to be relatively easy to tap.<br><br>-Health: Does anyone really think that swimming in a sea of WiFi signals does not have some long term effects?<br><br>-Performance: Copper is still faster.<br><br>-Interference: With so many devices sharing the same frequencies interference is becoming a real issue.<br><br>I use wireless both at home and at work, but in both cases I use wires for anything critical. Yes, that meant pulling cable to various rooms around my house, but cable is cheap. I tried my Media Extender on wireless and found its performance to be poor even on N, but once I hard wired it I had no further problems. Now, I have a switch behind my home entertainment system so hooking up a variety of components is simple.
    • Agreed

      Well said!
    • RE: 60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year


      Copper will not necessarily be faster after these latest wireless standards come out.
      As for interference? Almost NOTHING else uses 60Ghz bandwidth that I know of.
      As for security? If you use WPA I or II, no, it is NOT easy to tap, unless someone sees you keying in the wireless password.
    • Dead On

      @itpro_z <br>You hit the 600 pound gorilla squarely in the snout. What indeed would living in a house- or apartment-sized microwave oven do to one's health???<br><br>That's the firs thing that came to my mind as I read this article and an issue that no one has tried to blow off.<br><br>The bickering over copper vs. wireless, security and all the other stuff is background static by comparison.
  • RE: 60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year

    We will see.. Will it be working as like this>??60GHz? Maybe..

  • RE: 60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year

    Wi-Fi....Wireless....whatever, it's all lame. Hard wired is the only way to get true hi speed, reliable service.
    • RE: 60GHz Wi-Fi coming next year

      @james347 : Remind me of someone with Windows XP who refuses to go to Windows 7. While at this time I still preferred the wired over wireless connection, if wireless speeds ever bolt pass wqired, I won't be left in the dust.
      Gis Bun
  • stability

    Wired connection is still the king of stability, seldom has disconnection as wireless does...and the latency is not good for realtime/interactive applications