The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, aka WiGig, announced today their agreement to consolidate WiGig's certification and development under Wi-Fi Alliance. This is the result of longterm collaboration between the two organizations, since they reached an agreement on the standard of multigigabit wireless networking in May 2011.
While the Wi-Fi Alliance is a popular organization that tests and certifies Wi-Fi devices to guarantee their interoperability, WiGig is a lesser-known entity that develops the 60GHz-based WiGig technology specifications. The Wi-Fi Alliance, however, initiated the work to develop an interoperability certification for 60GHz products.
The WiGig standard, also known as the IEEE 802.11ad standard, is similar to the existing Wi-Fi standards but uses the 60GHz frequency band, instead of the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. For this reason WiGig is capable of offering wireless speeds up to 7Gbps, or some five times the speed of the latest Wi-Fi standard, the IEEE 802.11ac. The main drawback of WiGig is the range, which is much shorter than that of Wi-Fi. Still, the high data rates mean that it can be used in data-intensive applications, or to connect adjacent devices, such as a tablet sitting next to a big-screen TV.
It's expected that WiGig-based devices will be showcased at CES 2013.
According to parties involved, the consolidation of the activities in Wi-Fi Alliance is intended to increase efficiency, and combine WiGig technology with existing Wi-Fi technologies. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that the first Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification program for WiGig products is targeted to launch by the end of 2013. The transition of WiGig to the Wi-Fi Alliance, however, is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.