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Tech giants ally for faster wireless streaming

The new Wireless Gigabit Alliance brings together companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Dell and Nokia, who want to create a high-speed data-transfer specification for PCs and consumer electronics
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Major technology companies including Microsoft, Intel and Nokia have formed an alliance to develop a new, high-speed wireless technology for PCs and consumer electronics.

The Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance, which was launched on Thursday, also numbers Dell, LG, Panasonic and Samsung among its members. The industry group is developing a technology that operates on 60GHz, which is unlicensed spectrum, to deliver high transfer speeds.

"The widespread availability and use of digital multimedia content has created an ever-increasing need for faster wireless connectivity that current wireless standards cannot support," the companies said in a statement. "This has fuelled demand for a single technology that can support instantaneous file transfers, wireless display and docking, and streaming high-definition media on a variety of devices."

In the statement, WiGig Alliance president Ali Sadri said the new technology was "being designed from the ground up to address the specific requirements of various platforms, to co-exist with future 60GHz solutions and complement millions of Wi-Fi devices already in use around the world".

Rival high-speed, short-range technologies include: wireless USB, which promises a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 480Mbps; Bluetooth 3.0, which can go up to 24Mbps; and Sony's TransferJet, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 560Mbps.

The WiGig Alliance is aiming to produce a specification for its new technology in the fourth quarter of this year.

The companies on the WiGig Alliance board of directors are: Atheros, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, LG, Marvell, MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung and Wilocity. NXP, Realtek, STMicroelectronics and Tensorcom are also contributing to the group's work.

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