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Wi-Fi, WiGig Alliances to wed, breed 60GHz progeny

Beyond mere Wi-Fi into a hella-fast world of wireless wedlock

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The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance have announced that they will merge, combining their efforts to promote and set standards for 60GHz wireless technology

"Combining the expertise of Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance will deliver a terrific user experience with 60GHz solutions," Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa said in a statement, "and will help ensure that a full range of interoperable WiGig solutions reaches the market as quickly as possible."

This is not a whirlwind romance resulting in a love-blinded Vegas elopement. The two alliances have been working closely together in a two-year, 60GHz courtship, with WiGig focusing on the technology specifications and Wi-Fi on interoperability certifications.

Now it appears that they both find it wise to officially shack up, with the legal imprimatur being not a marriage license but a formal Memorandum of Understanding that will merge the Wireless Gigabit Alliance into the Wi-Fi Alliance.

How cute – they already have the same last name, so they can both bring their monogrammed bathtowels into their new home.

The 60GHz WiGig tech is not to be confused with the emerging "around-one gigabit-per-second" 802.11ac WiFi standard that Broadcom calls "5G WiFi". WiGig is not a replacement for 802.11ac, but rather a supplement that can go beyond mere wireless networking into such speedy-needy usage models as fully wireless bus extension, high-speed peripheral and storage connectivity, secure digital I/O (SDIO), and the like.

From where we sit, the consummation of this love affair is coming at a good time for WiGig. As CEO of WiGig pioneer Wilocity and founding member of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance Tal Tamir told us in an email, "With WiGig-based tri-band products starting to emerge in 2013, we are thrilled to leverage the experience of the Wi-Fi Alliance in creating wireless markets and extending their vision to the 60GHz band."

The Reg agrees with Tamir when he says, "This is a great step forward for WiGig products and for the wireless industry as a whole."

That is, of course, if the marriage is a successful one. As some of us have learned through painful experience, sometimes it's better to maintain separate residences – not to mention identities.

But that guarded cynicism is for another day. For now, we'll celebrate Thursday's union of the Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance in holy Memorandum of Understandimony. ®

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