LONDON Two wireless protocols are set to drive the take up of 60-GHz chipsets and take the annual market to 2 million shipments in 2015, according to market research company ABI Research.
WirelessHD is a standard currently available in products using the unlicensed 60 GHz frequency band and has 40 companies among its promoters and adopters. Its initial use-case is for streaming HDTV signals within the home. Meanwhile 26 companies comprise the Wireless Gigabit Alliance and its WiGig standard, which is aimed initially at allowing WLAN devices to communicate at gigabit speeds within a typical room.
"The 60-GHz frequency band has interesting properties that offer security and efficiency advantages for short-range networking," said ABI Research analyst Xavier Ortiz. "Two disadvantages inhibit WirelessHD's adoption and negate its first-to-market advantage. First, the transmitters and receivers are expensive, in the $600 to $1000 range. They are also power-hungry. Solutions need to be capable of bidirectional transfer with a vast reduction in power consumption," he added.
WiGig products are still on the drawing-board, but the standard aims to be part of the existing Wi-Fi ecosystem through Wi-Fi access points that include WiGig chipsets. Such an arrangement would open up the existing Wi-Fi market to WiGig vendors. Eventually, said Ortiz, WiGig and WirelessHD vendors are likely to want to target each others' initial markets as well.
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