WiGig – a new kid on the block for future connected homes


By Jonathan Spencer Jones

WiGig is a name that is likely to be heard increasingly frequently in future connected homes.

Referring to wireless communication at 60 GHz, WiGig (wireless gigabit) technology offers high speed, low latency and security protected connectivity between nearby devices (currently up to a few meters apart, and within a single room).

Now WiGig is being given a boost with an interoperability certification program, with products able to carry a WiGig certified logo.

Following the amalgamation earlier this year of the WiGig Alliance with the Wi-Fi Alliance under the Wi-Fi Alliance name, a certification program is being developed, with the prospect of certified products entering the market as soon as next year.

Many WiGig certified products are expected to be Wi-Fi certified as well, and products implementing both WiGig and Wi-Fi will include mechanisms to facilitate seamless handover between the two technologies.

“We are excited to expand the Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability program to include WiGig certified products, which will deliver the same security and interoperability that consumers have come to expect with Wi-Fi,” said Edgar Figueroa, Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO. “WiGig certified will be an excellent complement to Wi-Fi certified, advancing our vision of seamless connectivity and extending the user experience to new applications.”

In addition to the certification program, Wi-Fi Alliance has initiated several projects to address 60 GHz implementations of data, display, and audio applications. Among these the WiGig Serial Extension Specification has been formally transferred to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which plans to use it as a foundation to develop a media agnostic USB specification. It is expected that WiGig certified and Wi-Fi certified products will implement USB functionality.

A liaison agreement has also been engaged with the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) to facilitate the certification of products based on the WiGig Display Extension Specification, which is expected to be implemented in some WiGig certified products.

With WiGig’s close association with Wi-Fi it has every chance of becoming as well known – but there is a caveat as like so many standards it has a competitor, with the WirelessHD Consortium having developed the WirelessHD specification as a 60 GHz standard. Further, WirelessHD products are already available in the market. So whether one or both win out is thus an open question.