WiGig spec released, Wi-Fi Alliance joins the fun

Almost exactly five months ago, we told you all about the freshly completed WiGig specification, which promised 7Gbps Wi-Fi for all—not to mention goodies like wireless HDMI and DisplayPort. What's gone down at the WiGig Alliance since then? Quite a lot, actually. The organization has announced that the WiGig specification is now complete, and it has partnered up with the Wi-Fi Alliance on a logo and certification program for the technology.

In the words of the official announcement, "adopter members can now begin developing wireless products that use the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum to deliver multi-gigabit-speed wireless communications." The Alliance adds that there are no royalties or fees involved in building a radio, which should hopefully motivate hardware makers to join in.

We asked the WiGig folks to paint a rough picture of release schedules for WiGig-based products. Precise information remains under wraps for now, unfortunately, but we were told the spec has been "fairy stable" since December, and that third parties should start talking about their product plans in the upcoming year. The first products will pretty much supplant existing Wi-Fi implementations; the separate wireless display spec isn't actually coming out until the end of this year or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi Alliance has committed to the development of a "next-generation . . . certification program supporting Wi-Fi® operation in the 60 GHz frequency band." The two organizations expect that most, "if not all," 60GHz products will be backward-compatible with existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi standards. Certification should help make that happen smoothly. As we wrote last year, WiGig should have a range of only 30 to 60 feet, so being able to fall back to regular Wi-Fi channels seems like a key feature.

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