Monday, 03 April 2017 02:54

WiGig: The new wireless standard you want


Do you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, or more accurately, Wi-Fi technology? Better prepare yourself for the next level of Wi-Fi then - it is finally here!

WiGig, a new super-fast Wi-Fi standard certified by the worldwide Wi-Fi Alliance will start empowering gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and computers next year and it promises to double the speed of the fastest Wi-Fi technology we have today.

How fast will this be? Real fast. While our current fastest protocol, 802.11ac, tops out at (not-too-shabby) theoretical speeds of 4.5 Gbps, WiGig with its new 802.11ad protocol could theoretically reach 8 Gbps and even beyond.

This will definitely usher in a new age of 4K video streaming and high-resolution display mirroring from handhelds to desktops, and it will finally unleash tethered technologies like virtual and augmented reality from their wired domains.

What's the WiGig difference?

The current Wi-Fi protocol 802.11n can operate on the 2.4 and 5 GHz radio spectrums while 802.11ac operates on 5GHz. WiGig/802.11ad, on the other hand, uses the higher bandwidth 60GHz spectrum. The 60GHz band provides the ultra-wide channels needed for the ultra-high transfer rates that are not possible with the 2.4 or 5GHz bands.

The higher bandwidth and lower congestion of 60 GHz spectrum also allow for lower latency and real-time data transfers critical to VR, gaming, and display mirroring technologies. Multiple 4K streams will also be a relative breeze in the wider 60 GHz spectrum.

WiGig limitations

There are caveats with the 60 GHz spectrum, though. First, since the frequency is at a very high range, WiGig cannot penetrate walls and obstructions. This means in its current form, to take advantage of the promised speeds of WiGig, both device and router will have to be in the same room with a direct line of sight.

Second, high frequencies have terrible range and WiGig cannot travel distances greater than 33 feet.

These limitations mean that in its current form, to take advantage of the promised speeds of WiGig/802.11ad, both device and router will have to be in the same room with a direct line of sight.

To mitigate this short-range, WiGig routers and gadgets will support dynamic band switching and multiple streams to seamlessly change between the longer range 2.4/5 GHz (802.11n and 802.11ac) and the 60GHz band (802.11ad) as required. It is also capable of transmitting data in highly focused beams (called beamforming) for better power efficiency.

Since it is primarily a same-room Wi-Fi connection standard, WiGig will not replace traditional longer-range Wi-Fi protocols yet. However, it will be extremely useful for short-range, high-data transfer applications.

For now, as WiGig is starting to roll out, expect to see triple-band backward compatible routers that will support 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz bands.

Can't wait to try WiGig?

Although there are no WiGig gadgets available yet, you may want to prepare your home for the next level of Wi-Fi. Check out the TP-Link Talon AD7200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router. It is one of the first triple-band WiGig 802.11ad compatible routers that is currently available so far.

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