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Qualcomm acquires Wilocity, set to support up to 7Gb/s WiGig in various devices

Qualcomm Inc. on Wednesday said that it has completed acquisition of Wilocity, a leading developer of chipsets supporting the WiGig technology with multi-gigabit transfer rates. The company also said that it will offer platforms for various devices that will support the 60GHz wireless tech based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard. The first mobile platform to support the WiGig will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810.

The WiGig technology (IEEE 802.11ad) allows devices to communicate at up to 7Gb/s data-rates using the 60GHz spectrum. Since 60GHz signals cannot penetrate walls, the technology really complements, not replaces, the existing Wi-Fi networks. It is expected that the WiGig  tech will enable close-range 4K video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, wireless docking, and backing up entire media libraries in seconds.

Thanks to the acquisition of Wilocity, tri-band Wi-Fi solutions from Qualcomm Atheros will integrate the multi-gigabit of 802.11ad operating in the 60GHz spectrum band along with 802.11ac that operates in the 5GHz band and 802.11b/g/n in the 2.4GHz band. In the longer-term future Qualcomm’s mobile communication platforms will support 3G/4G WWAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO as well as 802.11ad WiGig technologies. The Snapdragon 810 platform (four ARM Cortex-A57, four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, Adreno 430 graphics, LPDDR4 memory controller, 2-stream 802.11ac with multi-user MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0, NFC and so on) will be the world’s first mobile platform to support tri-band wireless presumably with the help of an external 802.11ad WiGig chip.

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“Combining multi-gigabit speeds and low energy use, WiGig technology will strengthen Qualcomm Atheros’ connectivity leadership and create exciting new experiences that will accelerate the commercialization and adoption of 802.11ad technology,” said Amir Faintuch, the president of Qualcomm Atheros. “Ultimately, the integration of WiGig will help Qualcomm fulfil its 1000x vision to densify the network to address increasing mobile data demand.”

Qualcomm Atheros has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008 and worked closely with Wilocity to develop and distribute tri-band solutions for the computing market since 2011.

The WiGig 802.11ad technology will also be supported by Intel Corp.’s next-generation notebook/2-in-1 platform based on the code-named “Skylake” microprocessors.

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

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KitGuru Says: It remains to be seen how quick the adoption of the WiGig technology by consumer electronics manufacturers will be. Qualcomm and Intel will offer 802.11ad-supporting platforms already in 2015, but it will take some time before the tech becomes mainstream. The WiGig could revolutionize the market of many applications, but its adoption will depend on the price the makers will charge for it.

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