Qualcomm buys Wilocity and releases 60GHz radios

If you want a Snapdragon 810 with 802.11ad and MU-MIMO, it is here

 Qualcomm buys Wilocity and releases 60GHz radiosQualcomm has just purchased 60GHz 802.11ad technology company Wilocity and also announced a 3-band chipset. If you were craving a Snapdragon 810 with 801.11ad and MU-MIMO, you will soon be able to get it all in one part.

The big news of course is that Qualcomm bought Wilocity, they previously were only an investor in the firm. Wilocity is one of the leaders in the 60GHz WiGig arena and were a pretty obvious choice for Qualcomm. In a shock to no one, Qualcomm is rolling out a 3-band Wi-Fi radio for the upcoming Snapdragon 810. For those not up on 802.11xx nomenclature, that would be 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and now 60GHz as well.

Qualcomm is aiming this new standard at the 810 because that SoC is built around 4K video be it encoding, decoding, capturing or playback. This should be followed by the ability to play back 4K content on internal and external screens which the 810 can do. At 30Hz externally. Why? Because there is no cable standard on the market that can do 4K/60 yet but internal screens are just fine. Doh!

Rather than wait for the rather moribund TV industry to get with the program, Qualcomm came up with their own solution for external 4K video streaming, 802.11ad. It is a standard and short-range enough to work in apartment buildings, mainly because it is a line of sight protocol. This has it’s up sides and down sides, but for 4K video display you can reasonably assume that the person with the device is in the line of sight of the screen.

In the end the Wilocity buy is a really smart move. Qualcomm is at the bleeding edge of most wireless protocols and now they can make the same claim for 802.11ad. While it remains to be seen how popular the 60GHz band will be, for the moment it is borderline non-existent outside of a few niche markets. Then again if Qualcomm slaps it in every Snapdragon 810, the protocol will be quite widespread faster than you can say “everywhere”.S|A

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 Qualcomm buys Wilocity and releases 60GHz radios

Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group.