Miracast certification begins, with Intel on board

There hasn’t been a ton of buzz out there about Miracast, the Wi-Fi Alliance’s new wireless display standard. That’s too bad, because the standard seems to have potential. It promises ubiquitous wireless streaming of content between, say, phones and TVs, or even laptops and projectors. Support for protected content is in the mix, as is “simplified discovery and setup,” according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Best of all, a Wi-Fi network isn’t required—devices should be able to connect to each other directly via Wi-Fi Direct.

This morning, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it has begun certifying the first wave of Miracast-enabled devices. Among the freshly certified products are a pair of smartphones, LG’s Optimus G and Samsung’s Galaxy S III, as well as a line of televisions, the Samsung Echo-P Series. The Wi-Fi Alliance’s announcement also includes the following list of products, which have not only received certification, but also “form the test suite for the certification program:”

  • Broadcom Dualband 11n WiFi
  • Intel® WiDi
  • Marvell Avastar USB-8782 802.11n 1×1 Dual-band Reference Design
  • MediaTek a/b/g/n Dualband Mobile Phone Client, MT662X_v1 and DTV Sink, MV0690
  • Ralink 802.11n Wireless Adapter, RT3592
  • Realtek Dual-band 2×2 RTL8192DE HM92D01 PCIe Half Mini Card and RTD1185 RealShare Smart Display Adapter

Among the Wi-Fi cards, dongles, and display adapters is the name of Intel’s own wireless display offering: WiDi, or Wireless Display. WiDi has been around for some time and, until now, has had nothing to do with Miracast. What gives?

We spoke with Intel yesterday to shed some light on the subject. It turns out that the upcoming WiDi 3.5 update is going to introduce support for the Miracast standard, among a handful of new features and improvements. In the words of the chipmaker:

Intel has built in WFA Miracast support into the latest Intel WiDi 3.5 software release which will be pre-installed on new systems this Holiday season and available for existing users with Intel WiDi on a 2nd or 3rd Gen Intel Core processor based system.

(For the geeks out there, 2nd- and 3rd-gen Core are Intel’s brand names for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, respectively.)

Along with espousing Miracast, WiDi 3.5 will add support for Windows 8, 3D content, and USB devices. USB support will allow devices like keyboards, mice, and game controllers plugged into TVs or receivers to control WiDi connected systems like smartphones or notebooks. Oh, and Intel says it’s reduced WiDi latency quite a bit—down to just 60 ms on Ivy Bridge processors. (Folks with Sandy Bridge chips will apparently be stuck at 250 ms, the same latency as with WiDi 2.x.) The drop in latency should make user interaction feel much more responsive, especially when touch input is involved. As I understand it, though, Intel doesn’t guarantee that level of performance with all Miracast-capable gear—only WiDi hardware.

In a nutshell, Intel says WiDi 3.5 will simply offer a “superset of features” over Miracast.

This is good news for users. Come this fall, a whole host of folks with existing, WiDi-capable Intel machines should gain the ability to use Miracast devices wirelessly. Future WiDi-capable systems will ship with Miracast support out of the box, too. That also bodes well for Miracast, since having a large existing installed base could help speed up adoption and encourage more devices makers to join in.

Comments closed
    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Just wait for the wireless projector to glitch and accidentally re-synch to someone’s smartphone during a boring meeting. Suddenly, less PowerPoint, more FruitNinja. Busted…

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Oh, yes, let’s see this used at next years DefCon and not get hacked to bits. Then I’ll think they took security seriously.

    • phileasfogg
    • 7 years ago

    Didn’t Nvidia say their Tegra3 SoC will (or already does) support Miracast? I’m surprised to see zero mention of NV’s offerings (current or upcoming) in this area. They will be a formidable player in this space, for sure.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<](For the geeks out there, 2nd- and 3rd-gen Core are Intel's brand names for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, respectively.)[/quote<] Geeks know this by heart. I think this should be for the non-geeks.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Neat, but wish TVs supported something like streaming video instead… That’s pretty universal. Having a VLC server setup and simply streaming whatever content you want is pretty cool and requires relatively little hardware on the other end. I guess that wouldn’t function as a larger display

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      It is pretty cool but not for the average consumer and smartphone owner.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        I can’t speak for anyone else, but I use AirPlay to an AppleTV pretty much every day. It’s easily one of the most useful and under appreciated features of iOS and I’m hoping Miracast works as well and brings the functionality to a much broader pool of hardware.

    • Prion
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll assume I’m the only one that misread that as “Minecraft certification begins, with Intel on board” at first

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    WTF at the main page article picture for this?? lol

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      What the Fritos indeed.

    • WillBach
    • 7 years ago

    I almost spit my drink out when I found out that WiDi might be used for something. Way to go! First 😉

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      It’s cool, and I have WiDi on my laptop and TV, but finding a real use for it isn’t easy. Right now I’m much happier with a wireless mouse and keyboard setup and using HDMI -> receiver -> TV, as that allows me to do 7.1 audio out in the process. There’s no provision to send HDMI from the TV to the receiver for only audio, just an optical connection, and the TV will only send stereo and then only for audio from it’s tuner.

      I wonder if they’ll fix the audio stuff (on the TV end), and if it’s fixed in other TVs on the market. 60ms isn’t that bad when talking about games other than FPSs and is quite livable on the desktop for mundane tasks.

        • WillBach
        • 7 years ago

        The feature you’re looking for is Audio Return Channel and is supported in HDMI 1.4 😉

        Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of WiDi, I just don’t want to buy an adapter or pay a lot extra for everyplace I would use it.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        At 60fps (consistent) 60ms is like 4 frames of animation. I couldn’t handle that for anything with more action than a game of Uno.

        edit: but like you said that’s fine for the desktop. It’s fine for movies. Just not anything you want to interact with like a game.

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