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WiGig 802.11ad standards to gain mass acceptance

Jack Loo | Nov. 27, 2012
Smartphones to be long-term driver for WiGig, says ABI Research.

The forthcoming ratification of the 802.11ad wireless standard is going to help drive the technology to mass market acceptance, according to ABI Research.

ABI Research analysts said that more Wi-Fi IC vendors will be encouraged to add 802.11ad, also known as Wi-Gig, the wireless standard for linking devices over the 60GHz spectrum, to future tri-band solutions.

In addition, the partnership between Wi-Gig vendor Wilocity and Wi-Fi vendor Qualcomm Atheros to produce tri-band solutions is starting to bear fruit as Dell were the first to announce an ultrabook product with WiGig / 802.11ad.

"Market growth is expected to be slow for the next two years with ultrabooks and peripherals being the initial primary market, driven by the need for ultra-fast data transfer for docking and display applications," commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director, ABI Research. "Media tablets are expected to be the next market to embrace the technology, primarily for media streaming," he added.

ABI Research predicts that the smartphone will be the long-term driver of WiGig / 11ad market growth, dwarfing all others from 2015 onwards. 802.11ad is widely seen as the next step for Wi-Fi, after 11ac.

Its use as a smartphone technology will be driven largely by media streaming and data transfer between devices, for example streaming HD video between a smartphone and a flat screen TV.

WiGig / 11ad use in smartphones will determine its wider acceptance in all other markets, helping to drive adoption in connected home equipment like television sets and drive the market from using external solutions like USB dongles to integrated solutions.

"We expect a significant amount of consolidation in the market over the next 18 months as the 11ad market starts to take off," added Cooney.

"In some instances, smaller 60GHz technology focused companies will be swallowed up by the dominant wireless connectivity suppliers, others will be driven out of the market or at least into the margins as 11ad becomes an established technology, but without a push from the big guys, the market will fail to gain traction," said Cooney.


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