wigig dock Intel planning wireless dock for Ultrabooks using WiGig

It looks like Intel is having big plans for Ultrabooks, at least as far as docking stations are concerned as beyond the wired Thunderbolt docking stations we've already reported about, it appears that Intel is also working on a wire-free option. The peculiar thing here though is that Intel is planning on using WiGig technology courtesy of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance.

It looks like Intel is having big plans for Ultrabooks, at least as far as docking stations are concerned as beyond the wired Thunderbolt docking stations we've already reported about, it appears that Intel is also working on a wire-free option. The peculiar thing here though is that Intel is planning on using WiGig technology courtesy of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance.

Never heard of WiGig before? Let us give you a quick introduction as to what WiGig is. The Wireless Gigabit Alliance consists of a wide range of technology company's including among others, Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, NEC, Marvell, MediaTek and Qualcomm to mention a few of the key hardware manufacturers, although many others such as Microsoft, Nvidia, Dell, Samsung, Nokia, Panasonic and Toshiba are also involved. What these companies are working on is an extension of the 802.11 standard that will allow for wireless speed of an expected 7Gbps in the end, some then times faster than what 802.11n is expected to peak at.

WiGig is transmitting at 60GHz, otherwise known as Ultra Wide Band, although it's also backwards compatible with the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, but the highest speeds are only expected at very short range using the 60GHz band. So what does this have to do with a docking station for Ultabooks? Well, to keep things simple, it allows for a high-speed, short range wireless signal to be used to connect the Ultrabook to the dock sans any kind of wires. There are some limitations though, as you'd still have to plug in power to the Ultrabook sooner or later and in Intel's specification you still have to plug in the Ethernet cable into the Ultrabook itself if you want to take advantage of Intel's network features such as vPro.

wigig dock Intel planning wireless dock for Ultrabooks using WiGig

The upside of going wireless is of course the fact that you don't need to plug anything in to the system to dock it. WiGig should also provide enough bandwidth to cope with just about everything you'd need from a dock including display interfaces, USB connectivity and audio. The downside is increased cost, as not only do you need a WiGig compatible chip in the Ultrabook, but also in the dock. Of course in the future we might see displays with built in WiGig support into which you'd plug an external mouse and a keyboard and that would be all you'd need, rather than having to connect it all to yet another device.

Considering that the WiGig standard has anything but launched as yet, it seems like this solution is one for the future, but it's nonetheless interesting to see where things might be heading. One thing appears fairly certain though, Intel is set to make Ultrabooks succeed, one way or another and if consumers don't want them, then business users will have to take them as a replacement for sub-notebooks which have been quite popular with people that travel a lot.