The Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), dedicated to developing and promoting 60-GHz wireless technology, has announced its 1.1 specification. Its members were responsible for developing one of the first 60-GHz standards, which forms the basis for the IEEE’s 802.11 Working Group’s newest version, 802.11ad. The media access control (MAC) layer is compatible with other 802.11 versions, but the physical layer (PHY) is strictly 60 GHz.
WiGig also has announced the development of several protocol adaptation layer (PAL) interfaces that enable its technology to support multiple gigabit range interfaces. With the Wireless Bus Extension (WBE), designers can make PCI Express bus devices wireless. The Wireless Serial Extension (WSE) provides for wireless USB. The Wireless Display Extension (WDE) supports HDMI and VESA’s DisplayPort uncompressed video protocols. The WBE PAL is available now with WSE. WDE PALs will be available later in the second half of 2011.
The 802.11ad standard is not yet fully ratified, but it is moving into the final stages of approval. Final approval is not expected to be final until late 2011 or the first half of 2012. In the meantime, WiGig is working with the Wi-Fi Alliance to establish an 802.11ad 60-GHz certification and logo program.
Chips with 60-GHz capability are in development now. Some individual 60-GHz radios will be available, but most are expected to part of tri-band 2.4-, 5-, and 60-GHz transceivers like the Qualcomm Atheros AR9004TB chipset (see “Wi-Fi Gets 60-GHz With Tri-Band Chipset” at www.electronicdesign.com).
Wireless Gigabit Alliance