WiGig isn’t yet a household name like Wi-Fi, but it’s starting to stake out some ground in the enterprise thanks to a partnership between Dell and Wilocity. Chipmaker Wilocity has now shipped the 1 million WiGig radio units, most of which have wound up in Dell’s new wireless docking stations and PCs, the companies said this week.
WiGig is an ultra-high-bandwidth, short-range networking technology based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 802.11ad standard, but unlike other 802.11 technologies you may be familiar with it’s not designed to work like Wi-Fi. Instead it’s intended to form incredibly fast links between devices in the same room using 60 GHz frequencies. Think a souped-up version of Bluetooth that can support connections up to 6 Gbps.
Consequently, Dell is using WiGig as a docking technology. It’s selling the D5000 Wireless Dock in conjunction with new mobile workstations and Latitude Ultrabooks and laptops that come embedded with Wilocity’s combo Wi-Fi/WiGig chip. The PCs automatically link to the docking station when you enter the room, and eventually Dell will add support for more peripherals, from projectors to displays.
WiGig could eventually replace the wires connecting our multimedia appliances in the home, but that will take some time. As Gigaom Research’s Michael Wolf pointed out early last year, WiGig will start ramping up this year, but we’ll have to wait until 2015 until we start seeing gigabit superchips, incorporating new 802.11ac Wi-Fi and WiGig into the same silicon. Such chips could create merged home data and entertainment networks.