Qualcomm is acquiring Wilocity, a company that specialises in multi-gigabit technology, as it continues to build up its WiFi capability.
Wilocity develops 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on WiGig — or the IEEE 802.11ad standard — for mobile and networking devices, suitable for supporting 4k video, high performance networks and “other next-generation applications”.
WiGig has had a chequered history until now, having been hampered by several product and certification delays. In September last year the WiFi Alliance, the group responsible for WiGig’s development, unveiled new certification branding for the technology and said products would finally be available in 2014.
The WiFi Alliance acquired the WiGig Alliance earlier in 2013, a process which is thought to have been one cause of delay for the rollout of WiGig products.
Qualcomm’s Atheros division has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008 and worked closely with the company to develop tri-band technology since 2011. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
By integrating WiGig with its mobile platforms, Qualcomm said it “will enable mobile devices to provide near-instantaneous access to the cloud, and allowing for greater cellular network offload”.
The addition of 802.11ad technology builds on Qualcomm’s efforts to boost the efficiency of WiFi with its multi-user MIMO which can transmit data to a number of client devices at the same time, making more efficient use of network capacity.
Amir Faintuch, president of Qualcomm Atheros, said WiGig “will play an important role in Qualcomm’s strategy to address consumers’ increasingly sophisticated smartphone, tablet and computing requirements to support applications”.
The executive added that the integration of WiGig will form part of its 1000x strategy to “densify the network to address increasing mobile data demand”.
In addition, Qualcomm announced a range of tri-band platforms combining WiFi and WiGig products from the Atheros division.
The initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor which supports WiGig to enable 4k video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking and rapid media library back-up.
Qualcomm said it is “charging ahead” to meet the demand created by a significant growth in mobile data traffic over the next few years.