The next generation of wireless technology, IEEE 802.11ac, has not even begun to get broad market adoption and companies like Marvell are already talking about the next standard, 802.11ad WiGig.
In collaboration between Marvell and Wilocity, the two have begun to deliver the first truly wireless bus extension which should help eliminate the need for cables and reducing the overall sizes of wireless devices. Marvell claims that WiGig in combination with devices featuring Marvell?s Avastar technology enables devices to accomplish things like wireless docking, high-speed sync and low latency wireless connections to displays.
This new initiative between the two companies will help expand the Wilocity WiGig technology and help Marvell continue to be on the cutting edge of wireless technology with 802.11ad. This partnership will enable tri-band Wi-Fi solutions enabled with 802.11ad to market. Marvell?s partnership with Wilocity is a logical one if they wish to get involved in the WiGig solutions business as Wilocity is currently working on delivering 60GHz WiGig solutions and will enable Marvell to do the same in the future. Wireless Gigabit Alliance i.e. WiGig has quite a few members - AMD, Broadcom, Dell, Huawei, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, NVIDIA, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Samsung, Toshiba and Wilocity.
While we are no doubt extremely excited to hear this news from both Marvell and Wilocity, we still remain somewhat hesitant to be overly excited about this announcement. While 60GHz belongs to the unlicensed spectrum, multi-gigabit wireless solutions have yet to be tested in a broad array of applications and have quite a bit of proving left to do before they can be considered ‘consumer ready’. As of this moment, wireless device manufacturers are only beginning to deliver 802.11ac wireless routers and very few 802.11ac wireless devices. As such, we are cautiously optimistic about the 802.11ad WiGig standard push coming from Marvell and Wilocity, however, we do not see this technology becoming commercially available for at least the next year and a half.
Until then, we recommend you check out some of the currently available 802.11ac solutions, even though there are almost no devices out there right now that use 802.11ac. Furthermore, most of the current 802.11ac solutions are bridge solutions with multiple chips to enable multiple Wi-Fi radios due to 802.11ac needing its own chip (for now). Until 802.11ac becomes as easy to manufacture as 802.11n and has as many devices enabled with 802.11ac, we don?t really see 802.11ad becoming successful anytime soon.