Exclusive : WiGig Success Dependent On Intel Ultrabooks Says Chairman

We had a short meeting with Dr Ali Sadri, the president and chairman of the board of WiGig alliance, for a brief overview on where WiGig currently stands.

WiGig is a short distance, ultra high speed wireless technology operating in the UWB spectrum (60GHz) and is backed by the WiGig alliance which consists of many well known brands like Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and Panasonic but neither ARM nor MIPS.

Devices using WiGig will reach speeds up to 7Gbps, or just under 1GBps (although that's in theory) although to qualify as a WiGig device, products will need to achieve at least 1Gbps data transfer rates.

WiGig can reach up to 10 meters which is less than Wi-Fi and means that the technology will complement rather than replace the various 2.4GHz/5GHz bands which are more appropriate for so-called traditional "whole home coverage".

Dr. Sadri, who incidentally is the director of Intel's Mobile Wireless Group, says that the success of WiGig as a wireless solution relies on that of the Intel Ultrabook, the company's posher version of the netbook and one which follows the footsteps of the MacBook Air.

He argued that should ultrabooks (or devices using the Ultrabook form factor but don't carry the same branding) become more popular, this will generate a sustained demand for high speed wireless solutions to make up for a lack of ports.

The MacBook Air for example doesn't come with an Ethernet port and all ultrabooks have a limited number of I/Os because of physical constraints. WiGig may therefore - finally - kill wires if done right.

He told us to expect certified products in the second half of 2013 - nearly two years after the first ultrabooks emerged - with 2014 being the year when WiGig will take off; Dr. Sadri hinted though that this wouldn't prevent manufacturers to release uncertified Pre-WiGig devices much sooner, something that happened with the 802.11n certification.

When probed regarding estimated shipments volume, Dr. Sadri said that the consortium would be cautiously conservative given the hype that previously surrounded UWB.

However, a just-published report by NPD/Instat says that WiGig will be the most popular Wireless HD video technology by 2015.