Qualcomm unveils 60 GHz Wi-Fi chipsets for WiGig devices

Qualcomm Technologies announced a family of 60 GHz Wi-Fi chipsets, the QCA64x8 and QCA64x1, noting that it’s first to market with a 60 GHz Wi-Fi solution with optimizations based on the 802.11ay specification.

Qualcomm’s family of 11ay 60 GHz Wi-Fi chipsets includes the QCA6438 and QCA6428 for infrastructure and fixed wireless access, and the QCA6421 and QCA6431 for mobile applications.

Qualcomm says its new family of solutions provides wireline-equivalent latencies that enable new gaming and entertainment experiences, such as 4K streaming, virtually lag-free mobile screen casting to an entertainment system and immersive wireless virtual and augmented reality experiences, all while providing high-power efficiency to extend the battery life.

The 60 GHz band is not as crowded as the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands that are commonly used for Wi-Fi, and it allows for increased wireless capacity, multi-gigabit speeds and ultralow latency, making it ideal for a range of wireless ecosystems including mobile, enterprise, outdoor backhaul and the smart home, according to Qualcomm.

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Earlier this year, Qualcomm and Facebook announced they’re working together to deliver high-speed internet connectivity with Facebook’s Terragraph technology through the development of a multinode wireless system based on the QCA6438 and QCA6428 chipsets.

Facebook already has deployed a 60 GHz network in San Jose, California, where city employees are using it and providing feedback. Trials are also underway in various geographies around the world, including one near Budapest, Hungary, through Deutsche Telekom’s work with the Facebook-led Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

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At the TIP Summit in London this week, Deutsche Telekom, which is co-chair of the project group, announced it intends to publish an RFI for 60 GHz fixed wireless technology to provide gigabit connectivity. Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary Magyar Telekom also contributed a case study about its trial deployment using Facebook’s millimeter wave technology.

Operating at 60 GHz, WiGig is one of the first millimeter wave technologies to be available.

WiGig uses wider channels in 60 GHz to transmit data at multi-gigabit-per-second speeds and with low latency at distances of up to 10 meters. Devices use beamforming to focus a signal between devices, and wider channels enable WiGig devices to achieve data rates of up to 8 Gbps. That means, for example, that if you want to transfer an HD movie to a smartphone as you’re getting ready to leave the house, that can be achieved in just a few seconds.