Tiny gigabit wireless chip nears completion

The prototype of a short-range gigabit wireless chip, which promises more than 2Gbps throughput speeds and costs just AU$10, will be unveiled by the end of this year, according to researchers from National ICT Australia (NICTA).At the organisations' annual Techfest, which was held in Melbourne on Monday, researchers said they were on track to unveil a prototype of the chip by the end of this year and estimated that a commercial product could be available in 2008.

The prototype of a short-range gigabit wireless chip, which promises more than 2Gbps throughput speeds and costs just AU$10, will be unveiled by the end of this year, according to researchers from National ICT Australia (NICTA).

At the organisations' annual Techfest, which was held in Melbourne on Monday, researchers said they were on track to unveil a prototype of the chip by the end of this year and estimated that a commercial product could be available in 2008.

Tim Walsh, sensor networks software engineer at NICTA, told ZDNet Australia that the low-cost chip, which operates in the 60GHz band, is designed to create a wireless connection capable of transferring a full DVD movie in around one minute.

In this 1:15 video, Walsh explains that the tiny chip, which is 5mm x 5mm, will allow consumer electronic devices to communicate at high speed over distances of up to 10 metres.

"Currently, state of the art wireless networks operate at about 40Mbps to 500Mbps. We are targeting about five times that speed. It is a very, very fast version of Bluetooth," said Walsh.

NICTA is research institute that is partly funded by the government, which attempts to commercialise projects that have been designed by some of the best minds in Australian academia.

Munir Kotadia travelled to Melbourne as a guest of NICTA.

Eds note: Other NICTA video interviews include: