Samsung prepping 60GHz Wi-Fi with 4.6Gbps data rate

— 10:56 AM on October 13, 2014

Make way for much faster Wi-Fi. Samsung has announced the development of 60GHz wireless technology that's purportedly capable of speeds up to 4.6Gbps, or 575MB/s.

60GHz Wi-Fi isn't exactly new; the WiGig Alliance completed the related specification way back in 2009. Samsung was part of that group, and it now claims to have "successfully overcome the barriers" to commercialization. The first products are expected to be released in 2015.

Samsung claims to have eliminated co-channel interference, allowing its 60GHz tech to maintain top speed even when the network is crowded with multiple devices. The press release credits that advancement with "[removing] the gap between theoretical and actual speeds," and it says Samsung has achieved "the highest quality, commercially viable 60GHz Wi-Fi." However, the quoted 4.6Gbps is well short of the 7Gbps peak defined by the WiGig 802.11ad spec. Competing implementations may be slower than Samsung's—or not yet ready for prime time.

Although there's no mention of range, the announcement notes that 60GHz waves have "weak penetration properties and [are] susceptible to path loss." Line of sight is pretty much required. Samsung credits circuit design, modem wizardry, and "the world's first micro beam-forming control technology" with improving the signal quality of its solution. That control tech is linked to a custom antenna, and it's capable of adjusting to "changes in the communications environment" in just 0.33 milliseconds.

Samsung intends to deploy 802.11ad across much of its portfolio, including audio-visual gear, telecommunications equipment, medical devices, and the Internet of things. It won't be the only one hawking 60GHz wireless tech next year, either. During IDF last month, Intel revealed that its next-gen Skylake reference designs have WiGig networking built in.

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