Qualcomm Inc., which designs and supplies CDMA chipsets, has acquired a startup company called Wilocity, which specializes in wireless technology called WiGig, for an undisclosed price. The Wall Street Journal reports that Wilocity, based out of Sunnyvale, California, with operations in Israel, had been experimenting with WiGig, or Wireless Gigabit technology, which transmits large amounts of data across wireless applications. Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal states that Amir Faintuch, president of a unit of Qualcomm called Qualcomm Atheros, has said the technology would transfer “multiple video streams” found in the fairly new resolution technology called “4K.” Clark further clarified that WiGig would operate at a whopping 60 gigahertz (GHz) verses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz found with Wi-Fi technology. It is reported that Qualcomm plans to add this new technology into Qualcomm products such as the Snapdragon 810 processor, which will utilize both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology.
Qualcomm announced the acquisition of Wilocity on Wednesday, according to PC World’s Agam Shah, who reported the first smartphones and tablets to carry the WiGig technology may appear by the end of next year, according to Vice President of Product Management and Engineering Cormac Conroy, of Qualcomm’s Atheros division. Conroy was quoted as saying 4K technology is growing each day, and devices need faster “wireless data-transfer technologies.” The report also claimed that if WiGig is incorporated into more devices, HDMI cables would become obsolete, as the wireless technology would end the clutter of home devices, such as TVs, DVD players and even desktop computers which could utilize the wireless technology among computer products, too. Shah used the example of Netflix and how Netflix is known for now using 4K videos, which are known to have resolutions of 3840 x 2160 pixels. WiGi would not only be able to transfer the data wirelessly, but with incredible speed. Shah concludes WiGi has been around for some time, but more companies may start to utilize the new technology once Qualcomm integrates the technology into various smartphones and tablets.
As Qualcomm acquires Wilocity WiGig technology and places it in Qualcomm products, Microsoft Corporation is reported to have joined Qualcomm in a bid to discover how to have household products communicate with each other. Noel Randewich of Reuters reported that Microsoft joined 50 other members of Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance to promote “protocols for how smart devices should work together,” or a trend referred to as the “Internet of Things.” Although manufacturers of various products have tried to produce household items which utilize the internet and thereby having the capability to communicate with each other, Randewich reported these products ended up being incompatible, and therefore do not work. Randewich also stated some companies do not want to adhere to a standard protocol until connectivity issues are sorted. According to Joel Hruska of ExtremeTech.com, Qualcomm may face these types of challenges with WiGig technology- citing that furniture, humidity and even a laptop flipped open may block WiGig signals over various distances. However, Hruska adds WiGig would simply go back to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies found in Wi-Fi if such blockages occurred.
By Liz Pimentel