Heard enough about WiFi? Then it's time to learn about WiGig. Newly announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, this new standard for short-range wireless communication is so fast that it can handle pretty much anything. Here are some specs:

  • It supports data transmission rates up to 7 Gbps -  more than 10x faster than the highest 802.11n rate.
  • The physical layer enables both low power and the high performance WiGig devices, guaranteeing interoperability and communication at gigabit rates.
  • Protocol adaptation layers are being developed to support specific system interfaces including data buses for PC peripherals and display interfaces for HDTVs, monitors, and projectors.
  • There is support for beamforming, enabling robust communication at distances beyond 10 meters

Operating on the previously unused 60 GHz frequency band, WiGig will by targeted "primarily for applications that require gigabit speeds," such as HDTVs. In other words, your HDTV wouldn't need to be connected by a cable to your Blu-Ray player. Another idea: sending everything on a computer to be backed up on a device across the room, also without a cabled connection. An InfoWorld analysis suggests another idea: a car driving up to a kiosk could download a DVD wirelessly to a portable device. 

At first, WiGig will reach only several feet, rather than the hundreds of feet that WiFi can reach. That may change, but for now, it's exciting enough to ponder wireless data transfer speeds exponentially faster than anything we've seen before.

-- Don Willmott