Wi-Fi, WiGig alliances to merge

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The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit, or WiGig, Alliance have agreed to merge to become a unified wireless technology development and certification body.

The two alliances are trade associations that promote Wi-Fi technology development and certification. The first Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification program for WiGig products is targeted to launch late this year.

WiGig technology delivers high-speed wireless connections up to 7 Gbps at short range using the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. WiGig enables high-performance wireless data, display and audio applications that supplement the capabilities of wireless LAN devices.

"It's clear that 60 GHz technology is an important part of the future of wireless connectivity, and a significant complement to traditional Wi-Fi networking. With so many devices expected to incorporate both traditional Wi-Fi and WiGig, it just makes sense for activities to consolidate under the Wi-Fi Alliance organization," said Peter Cooney, practice director for semiconductors at ABI Research.

Early 60 GHz implementations based on the WiGig specifications are entering the market now and ABI Research forecasts that by 2016, annual shipments of devices with both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology will reach 1.8 billion.

The two groups have been working together for two years, during which time the WiGig Alliance developed MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation Layers, or PALs, specifications and the Wi-Fi Alliance began work on interoperability certification for 60 GHz products.

"We set out four years ago with the simple goal of realizing a global wireless ecosystem of interoperable, high-performance devices that would operate seamlessly. In that time there have been many challenges to overcome but we have now created a market that simply did not previously exist. Consolidating activities with the Wi-Fi Alliance at this juncture will ensure WiGig's mainstream success to the benefit of technology users everywhere," said Ali Sadri, president and chairman of the WiGig Alliance.

The two organizations said that they will enter a period of diligence and planning, with the intent to complete transition of both the technology development activity and WiGig assets to Wi-Fi Alliance by the middle of 2013.

Read more:
- see the two groups' release
- check out the WiGig tech specifications
- read the PC World article

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