updated 11:45 am EST, Fri February 22, 2008
NICTA GiFi Chipset
A new wireless technology has been developed that should serve as an extremely fast replacement for technologies such as Bluetooth and ultra-wideband (UWB), says Australian research group NICTA. Nicknamed GiFi, the process would use a chip (not pictured) that transmits at an extremely high 60GHz frequency versus the 5GHz used for the fastest forms of Wi-Fi. The sheer density of the signal would allow a chip to send as much as five gigabits per second. While the spectrum would limit the device to the same 33-foot range as Bluetooth or UWB, it could theoretically transfer an HD movie to a cellphone in seconds, the researchers claim.
The technology could also be used for beaming full HD video in real-time and could be used by notebooks and other computers to wirelessly connect virtually all the expansion needed for a docking station, including a secondary display and storage. Mixing and signal filtering would keep the signal strong versus the longer-ranged but slower and more drop-prone Wi-Fi option of today.
NICTA does not expect a production-grade chip to leave the development stage until early 2009 but notes that any future chip would likely cost about $10 or less to build. This and a small design would allow cellphones and other small devices to add the technology without significantly drive up the price, according to the company. The change opens the possibility of a successor to UWB and its related technology Wireless USB, which matches the same range but roughly the same 480Mbps peak speed of its wired equivalent.