Marvell, Wilocity partner up to push WiGig solutions

As the first 5G Wi-Fi devices begin to break cover, the folks at the WiGig Alliance are already pushing the next step up the wireless performance ladder—WiGig, or 802.11ad. Two members of the Alliance, Wilocity and Marvell, announced yesterday that they’ve partnered up to deploy WiGig-enabled tri-band platforms for "computing, networking infrastructure and consumer electronics."

WiGig works on a 60GHz band and promises data rates as high as 7Gbps. That’s substantially faster than 5G Wi-Fi, which operates at 5GHz with a 1.3Gbps top speed. (5G Wi-Fi is also known as 802.11ac.) WiGig has a smaller range, however—just 30-60 feet or so. Fortunately, the standard allows solutions to fall back to 5GHz (802.11ac) or 2.4GHz (802.11n) seamlessly when the user moves out of range of the host device. Devices that support all three modes of connection are labeled "tri-band."

We spoke to Wilocity’s Mark Grodzinsky, who noted that Wilocity already partnered with Qualcomm Atheros on solutions for notebooks, including wireless docking stations, a couple of years back. The more recent Marvell partnership will involve some overlap with Qualcomm Atheros in the notebook space, but it will mainly focus on "infrastructure devices in consumer electronics." Grodzinsky explained, "Really, the goal of this partnership is to try to expand the ecosystem to get more silicon players into the game, and to try and hit more than just the PC space, but rather expand into tri-band infrastructure devices like access points, residential gateways, enabling kind of an always best connected experience."

According to Grodzinsky, the WiGig specifications are finished, the standard should have full IEEE ratification before the year is out, and the Wi-Fi alliance is working on a certification program. We should see the first WiGig-enabled products in the market by the end of this year.

Among the first products, Grodzinsky says, will be notebook and docking station bundles. Wilocity demonstrated several prototypes of such solutions at Computex in June, and they all look pretty impressive. Users should be able to connect multiple 1080p displays, storage devices, and peripherals to their notebook wirelessly through WiGig docking stations. We’re told latency will be in the order of "microseconds, not milliseconds," which should mean lag-free input and output with remotely connected displays and input peripherals.

Comments closed
    • PainIs4ThaWeak1
    • 7 years ago

    Stopped reading after: ” WiGig has a smaller range, however—just 30-60 feet or so.”

    Don’t really see how thats going to benefit me much.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      ’cause you can have multiple of them that act as one network?

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    Rather than “5G Wifi” why not “WiFive” and so on? Communicates the idea, is unique, to the point, catchy. WiNine? Sounds good to me.

      • eofpi
      • 7 years ago

      To avoid WEight, of course.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Under the terms of Section 9 (a) Part I of Article 6 of the Annoying Puns Act, thou art banned.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Bad puns aside, I think putting ‘xG’ next to any wireless standard other than one used for cell devices is just plain misleading, a silly attempt at marketing from the standards body, and a showing of an absence of imagination.

      If you can come up with something like ‘WiFive’, why the hell couldn’t they?

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        If you’re going to moan about xG being misleading, perhaps you ough to refocus your efforts on complaining about the extra zero they insist on adding to the end of their bandwidth claims 😛

          • internetsandman
          • 7 years ago

          There are misleading opportunities aplenty for all of these service companies and my god do they snatch up each and every one of them. Marketing names, service speeds, features, quality of service, reliability of products, nothing is ever as it’s advertised and they will always put in fine print or in a TOS agreement that you have to accept what they give you and you won’t get anything better, cause you’re not allowed to do anything about it (other than MAYBE calling and emailing repeatedly and that MIGHT get you some improvement for a couple months)

          I’m a bit bitter over my ISP….

    • liquidsquid
    • 7 years ago

    Crazy to be using 60GHz, such a touchy high frequency when even small object can cause major propagation problems. 30-60 feet on a good day, and very materials sensitive.

    As others have said, gobs of overhead in the wireless realm may make throughput fast, but latency high. It may not matter though as this is not targeting gamers, but camera data transfer, video streams, etc.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      You’re RF mindset is out of date. Multipath and other causes of fading were once the bane of RF links, but with modern MIMO systems, you’re actually *better off* with a nice messy scattering environment.

        • liquidsquid
        • 7 years ago

        That’s the thing, this frequency doesn’t scatter all that well. Multipath, while a definite improvement over single-antenna systems, still doesn’t matter much if said object simply soaks up the signal rather than reflecting it. 60GHz is simply “line of sight”. Also at 60GHz, you cannot get your diversity antennas in locations of the idealized wavelength divisions apart easily. You have to use antenna modules, which again have such small dimensions as to negate the purpose and use case of multipath in the first place.

        Not saying it cannot be done, but this band IS very touchy. It could amount to many more than 2 antennas for a phased array which could then track the other half of the link which is much more realizable at this wavelength in a small space. That would be slick as heck, but I have a hard time believing it would be done in consumer land.

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          I guess I don’t see it that way. An antenna array at 60GHz can be quite small and still provide spatial, directional, and polarization diversity. The old rule is that two antennas placed 10 wavelength apart will have statistically uncorrolated fading. One wavelength at 60GHz is half a centimeter? So, 10 lambda is 5cm. Heck a little 10cm on a side module can have 9 fully spatially diverse sets of crossed dipoles. Put’em on a ceramic substrate and COB the electronics on the other side and you’ve got everything you need.

          I agree that absorption is an issue at this frequency, but I think you’re going to have a wonderful scattering benefit.

    • internetsandman
    • 7 years ago

    Enough about speed, lets get some reliability and latency upgrades shall we? Not even the BS claims for speed from most ISP’s are close to that high, and most of the equipment they force upon you/the equipment you have to buy is riddled with reliability and latency issues. This is one of the few times where I say screw progress, fix what we have, THEN look to improving it

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Would you be happy if they said it was only 1gigabit, with potential burst capability up to 7gigabit?

      802.11n has performed well for me, we even use it as a secondary connection in a few places (gigabit goes to SAN, wifi to LAN) and have no issues with it.

      Complaining about 802.11g being slow is so wierd to me-it’s half the speed potential of fast ethernet which was last fast in the late 90’s. But it’s freaking [i<]wireless[/i<] which has a whole host of issues to deal with that copper doesn't, and then, you know, is [i<]actually wireless[/i<]. 802.11g is slow? get a faster base station? Not a tough nut to crack.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        It’s fine for internet but it’s slow for large file transfers on LANs

          • demani
          • 7 years ago

          So is fast ethernet. Slow connections are slow.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Weird, 802.11ac barely made it out to market (no one calls it 4g). Only a handful of devices on Newegg even support it. I don’t even think there are that many laptops out with it, if any. Are they trying to obsolete it asap?

    Some quick googling reveals, 802.11ac is by IEEE and 802.11ad is by Wilocity/Marvel. So I’m guessing there is some licensing fees associated with Wigigs standard and they’re trying to shove their way into gaining a deadlock on the 802.11 device arena.

    I’m not entirely sure what to think of this.

    In other news, I’m still going to reiterate that my copper tied directly from my computer to my switch is still operating at 1Gbps. Still using my gigabit switch I bought in highschool too. -_-

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    Faster wifi doesn’t seem very useful to me, besides things like wireless displays. Internet connections are much slower than wifi’s capacity. More reliable wifi is important, it seems like skype is poorer quality if you aren’t using a wired connection. Maybe most homes are just improperly configured… I wonder if there is a one size fits all solution to such problems.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I’d say because internet connectivity isn’t the sole use of wireless? I, for one, access my server wirelessly from my laptop and that guy sits on a GigE segment. Saturate 802.11n? No problem.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      I’m personally interested in the latency changes more then anything…

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    So how annoyed are cellular carriers that these guys have already stolen the ‘5G’ marketing term?

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Worse yet, these guys are actually refering to something where ‘5G’ makes sense–these devices actually work in the 5GHz band.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        plus, it’s pretty stupid fast.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      Apple should sue them!

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    WHAT DID I TELL YOU CYRIL? IT’S 4AM!

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      what do you do all day ?

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        TR.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    ‘Marvel’ or ‘Marvell’?? Two very different companies…

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