WiGig pushes certification-ready 60GHz standard

The Wireless Gigabit Alliance has announced the publication of version 1.1 of its specification, which it describes as certification-ready for vendors to start introducing support for the technology into their products.

The Alliance - known as WiGig to its friends - is pushing the adoption and use of a wireless technology based on a portion of the spectrum at 60GHz, rather than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz used by today's 802.11b/g/n and 802.11a equipment.

The upshot, the group claims, is a technology which offers multi-gigabit-class networking without wires. Late last year the company also teamed up with VESA and the HDMI licensing group to add high-definition video and audio support to the standard, a process which is now complete.

"We are marching toward enabling the fastest wireless technology for practical applications such as Wireless Docking, Wireless Display and Wireless Networking," claimed WiGig president in a statement to press. "Our continued diligence in the MAC-PHY specification development process and collaboration with the Wi-Fi Alliance to build an interoperable multi-gigabit wireless solution based on our latest specification will soon provide an unprecedented user experience that changes people's lives."

Version 1.1 of the WiGig specification adds the WiGig Bus Extension, which joins the existing WiGig Serial Extension in offering high-speed connectivity between devices not normally considered part of a network. With WiGig looking to interest storage vendors in adding the technology, the Bus Extension standard can be seen as a wire-free competitor to Intel's recently launched Thunderbolt technology.

The new version of the standard also adds wireless DisplayPort support, thanks to the group's partnership with VESA, and wireless HDMI support under the banner of WiGig Display Extension. Sadly, this particular aspect isn't quite ready, with the Alliance quoting a second-half of 2011 launch for adopters.

Since version 1.0 of its specification was published, the Alliance has grown. With eight new companies under its wing - including Aeroflex, the Institute for Infocomm Research, and MET Labs - the potential for the standard to push forward as a realistic alternative to USB, Thunderbolt, HDMI, DisplayPort, and network cables looks stronger than ever.

Sadly, while WiGig's statement today was full of hope for the future, there was one thing lacking: the news that one of its members, known as Adopters, is launching a commercial implementation.