Wi-Fi, WiGig Alliances merging

Jan. 9, 2013
A memorandum of understanding between the two groups calls for them to consolidate operations into the Wi-Fi Alliance by mid-2013.

The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit Alliance recently jointly announced they executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining their plans to consolidate their activities into the Wi-Fi Alliance. “The agreement builds on more than two years of collaboration between the organizations, in which WiGig Alliance developed the groundbreaking WiGig technology specifications including MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation layers [PALs] and Wi-Fi Alliance initiated work to develop an interoperability certification for 60-GHz products,” the groups said when making the announcement.

The consolidation of activities is “intended to bring greater efficiency, ensure closely harmonized connectivity and application-layer solutions using the technology, and leverage WiGig technology know-how across the range of Wi-Fi technologies,” the announcement further stated. “The first Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification program for WiGig products is targeted to launch late this year.”

Under terms of the MOU, the organizations 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.

Wi-Fi Alliance president and chief executive officer Edgar Figueroa said, “This is an exciting technology, and has been an important highlight of our certification roadmap for some time, so we are delighted to take this step. Combining the expertise of Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance will deliver a terrific user experience with 60-GHz solutions, and will help ensure that a full range of interoperable WiGig solutions reaches the market as quickly as possible.”

WiGig, as the associations explain, will offer short-range multi-gigabit connections for applications that will include high-definition WiGig Display Extensions (WDE), as well as peripheral connectivity and I/O cable replacement such as WiGig Serial Extension (WSE), WiGig Bus Extension (WBE) and WiGig SDIO Extension (WDS). Early 60-GHz implementations based on WiGig specifications are entering the market.

Ali Sadri, president and chairman of WiGig Alliance, commented, “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.”

ABI Research has forecasted that by 2016, annual shipments of devices with both WiFi and WiGig technology will reach 1.8 billion. ABI’s practice director for semiconductors, Peter Cooney, said, “It’s clear that 60-GHz technology is an important part of the future of wireless connectivity, and a significant complement to traditional WiFi networking. With so many devices expected to incorporate both traditional WiFi and WiGig, it just makes sense for activities to consolidate under the Wi-Fi Alliance organization.”

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