Air war in the digital home
SiBeam is the closest competitor to the WiGig Alliance. SiBeam's chip designed solely for use as a wireless version of HDMI was demonstrated in TVs from Panasonic and Toshiba at CES in January
. Its WirelessHD Alliance
includes members such as Broadcom, Intel, LG, Samsung and Sony who already are working on a second-generation spec.
"My guess is there will be serious competition between those two groups very quickly," said Mathias.
SiBeam and WirelessHD representatives said the WiGig announcement validates the significance of 60 GHz technology. They also suggested the group--which they tracked since it originally formed under the acronym NGmS--has yet to fully clarify its aims and could fracture the sector.
"This appears highly divisive and fragmenting for the industry given that they are promoting a pre-pre-pre 802.11ad solution, rather than unifying such initiatives," said John Marshall, chairman of WirelessHD.
"Our prior understanding was that they are promoting more of an all purpose technology platform that will be more suited to general data applications and less capable of meeting the higher-end requirements of HD audio/video and higher data rate data applications, however after their recent press release, this is unclear," he added.
Sadri said the WiGig spec will have a detection and avoidance scheme to avoid interference with SiBeam or any other 60 GHz technology that comes along.
One difference between the two is the WiGig spec keeps power hungry functions such as error correction turned off until they are needed, opening the door for use of the technology in mobile systems. Sadri would not specify the channel size WiGig is using but said it is in the ranger of similar technologies.
The group will also go up against Amimon that just released its second-generation chip conforming to the WirelessHDMI spec that defines coding techniques to send 3 Gbit/s over 5 GHz. Amimon's member group includes Hitachi, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony. The company has announced a handful of design wins.
McFarland of Atheros said Amimon gets much of its signal gain from use of multiple input, multiple output antennas. The WiGig spec "doesn't define how many antennas you can use, but it does define the steps of how to steer a beam and an iterative process of refining the direction of the beam," he said.
Other competitors include startups Celeno with a Wi-Fi variant aimed at video and Quantenna that uses a 4x4 MIMO scheme to deliver Gibt rates using dual 2.4 and 5 GHs chips.
The 60 GHz and Wi-Fi variants are on the rise at a time when competitors using ultrawideband technology for broadband wireless applications have been going through a shakeout, leading one analyst to project the technology will fade out by 2013.