03
Jul
qualcomm

In comparison with just a few years ago, Wi-Fi is pretty fast, especially if you've upgraded to a 5GHz router. But there's no reason that it can't be faster. To that end, electronics OEM supplier Qualcomm has purchased Wilocity, a California startup specializing in 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi, also known as WiGig. This standard is still in the latter stages of development, but when it starts appearing in devices sometime next year, it should be able to sustain wireless data speeds of up to seven gigabits per second.

Mobile-11ad-Baseband-SiP

The announcement came on a promotional page penned by former Wilocity CEO Tal Tamir, who's now Qualcomm's VP of Product Management. Qualcomm is hoping that this high-frequency Wi-Fi standard will enable game-changing functionality on new devices. In addition to faster downloads and uploads, Qualcomm envisions more flexible applications like nigh-instant movie transfers from rental kiosks, lag-free video connections to allow tablets to function as untethered workstations, easy point-to-point file sharing, and uncluttered high-speed networks that operate above the more crowded wireless bands. Of course, with a higher frequency band comes greater sensitivity to physical obstructions.

Qualcomm's first hardware to use an 802.11ad will be the Snapdragon 810 chipset, currently scheduled to launch in the first half of 2015. Other members of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance include AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell, Huawei, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, NVIDIA, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba. Hopefully the electronic hardware to take advantage of all this will be ready in time for the usual round of flagship refreshes in the spring.

Source: Qualcomm - Thanks, Matthew!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Imparus

    "- Supports data transmission rates up to 7 Gbit/s – more than ten times faster than the highest 802.11n rate"

    That quite a lot faster than using USB for transferring files :P

    • Syukri Lajin

      wireless is already replacing USB cable for transferring files from my phones to computer. it's faster for me to copy files trough Airdroid rather than using usb cable. I have no idea why transferring files using usb is slower, i think it's because of MTP.

      • Matthew Fry

        I do agree that USB transfers are abysmal Android=>Computer. It's faster to copy to the external SD and pull the SD out than copy using USB.

        • Syukri Lajin

          that works too. except if the phone is a Nexus. :P

          • deltatux

            I just use ES File Explorer to navigate into my Windows shares on my desktop...

    • RarestName

      I'm so excited! Wireless charging, wireless data transfer? Count me in!

  • h4rr4r

    A lot faster than Gigabit. Even 802.11ac already does that.

    Gigabit means 1Gb/s.

    Also 60Ghz does not penetrate walls very well not deal well with humidity. This is going to require a lot more access points and that is a very good thing. No longer will be dealing with such terrible signal to noise ratios. Instead we will just have to put up more access points.

    • BigTimmay

      Interesting. I wasn't aware humidity was something that can affect signal quality.

      • h4rr4r

        It is at 60Ghz, heck even at 5Ghz.
        These are microwaves after all.

    • AluKed

      60ghz not only suffers with humidity, it suffers with oxygen resonance and severe shadowing.

      • h4rr4r

        All good things, in an age when we badly need to limit range to avoid noise.

  • Tobleroni

    Seems like a great step forward... But isn't this kinda useless until we actually storage that can actually write data at even a fraction of the mentioned speeds above. Not to mention the routers supporting these speeds etc.

    • Tatanko

      I don't see the point either. I'm not saying that wireless technology should become stagnant, but what's the point in praising achievements like this when it means very little to the end consumer? Practically no one has a connection fast enough to take advantage of N, let alone AC, never mind AD. There's just not anything to be excited about here in my opinion.

      • h4rr4r

        Because not everyone is a consumer.
        The point of these speeds are connection to machines local to each other, not for access to machine over the internet.

        • Miguel Ripoll

          Exactly. This is to build wireless screens, speakers...etc.

          • h4rr4r

            Yup, we might even one day be able to set our phones on wireless chargers and have them connect to our monitors and keyboard and mice. If it was done right, a totally different Desktop Environment not meant for touch would be started, using the same filesystem though. Should be trivial to do software wise.

      • Dhaiwat

        Honestly who cares! As long as the platform moves forward. I agree that it may not be useful for the general consumers yet, but having the powerful technology that allows ridiculous speeds is great regardless. This could be used for intranet, businesses could take adavntage of that. That also eliminates the the need to create a seperate business version and consumer grade chip/modem or what ever form it is in. That should also melt away any thought of it being wasteful to have it in consumer products because as it trickles down from business to consumer the technology would have been there and matured ready to go.

      • Syukri Lajin

        gigabit wireless will be extremely useful for wireless display. higher bandwidth + lower latency for short distances

    • h4rr4r

      You can buy storage that writes at speeds well above that now.
      Just not for $100. I can show you a 10Gb iSCSI box that is soaked all day long.

  • jamaall

    Too bad Verizon Fios would charge you $2,000/month for over 1 Gb/s

    • Mayoo

      We are talking about WIFI here. Providers have nothing to do with this.

      WIFI doesn't equals internet.

      • jamaall

        Yea, for wifi direct from machine to machine, that's great. Still gonna take a while for devices to support it. I'll just forget about the internet part though, it'll be years before this is relevant to internet speeds.

      • Bryan Pizzuti

        To quite a lot of people not operating an actual local LAN it does. If I've got a laptop, a phone, a tablet, and a Roku, and all they ever do is connect to the Internet, the only thing I care about is Internet uplink and downlink.

        That being said, I can think of some really interesting LAN uses for this.

  • Toboe

    >Of course, with a higher frequency band comes greater sensitivity to physical obstructions.

    A curse if you want to use your computer-room Wlan in the kitchen.
    A blessing if you have many neighbours who like Wlan.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      It's meant for short-range or line-of-sight transmissions, like from your phone to your TV, from your tablet to a rental kiosk, or from your PC to your phone. 60 GHz will barely travel through anything besides open air, it won't be used in general-purpose home routers.

      I can see great application for a 2.4/5GHz receiving, 60 GHz transmitting router that doubles as a wireless charging pad though. Put your phone on it and you instantly upgrade your phone's power-limited WiFi n/ac to sync files at 100+ MB/s. Maybe include a built-in NFC tag that gives any phone access to the 60 GHz network so anyone in your home can stream content from their phone.

      They'll never do this though, it's too good of an idea.

  • Dima Sirotnikov

    Wilocity is not a California based start up. It's an Israel based start up, with offices in California.

  • Guest

    It's meant for short-range or line-of-sight transmissions, like from your phone to your TV, from your tablet to a rental kiosk, or from your PC to your phone. 60 GHz will barely travel through anything besides open air, it won't be used in general-purpose home routers.

    I can see great application for a 2.4/5GHz receiving, 60 GHz transmitting router that doubles as a wireless charging pad though. Put your phone on it and you can sync files at 100+ MB/s. Maybe include a build-in NFC tag that gives a phone access to the 60 GHz network.

    They'll never do this, it's too good of an idea.