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WHDI 3Gbps video broadband could leap to WiFi


Published: 25 November, 2011


The effect of broadband is one of the most enabling technologies imaginable. When Amati won the contract to define DSL for AT&T, it opened up the idea of data communications for the masses and all that implied but no-one has ever believed that so much bandwidth can be carried, by such tiny, unprotected wires. Today the same doubts are expressed for wireless, and once we thought that 600kbps made a strong cellular broadband story and 11 Mbps was the end point of WiFi.

And yet it only ever takes a little more unlicensed spectrum to be harnessed at the radio, some slightly improved modulation components and some clever software and suddenly IEEE80.2ac is promising home PHY rates in the future of 1Gbps or 2 Gbps, similar to wired mechanisms. So it seems strange that a technology which is already 3 years old and which already routinely offers the equivalent of 3Gbps when compared to the video throughput of conventional WiFi networks, is only slowly taking off.

That's because it comes out of an Israeli company, with support from Korea and Japan, but without the core US market being on board. Most of Amimon's WHDI chips, which can perform like this, are being sold in China, and specialize in offering Gigabit class video transport from a PC to a TV. Is it that US companies just don't believe that the Amimon chips can really do what they say? No, because Motorola, soon to be owned by Google, already owns stock in the company.

And the next generation will shift as much video, in the form of 4kx2k uncompressed video signals, which would require over 10 Gbps of conventional bandwidth to make possible, and it will be in devices next year.

Now the main spokesman for the WHDI reckons that all WiFi chips could buy a license to the technology that makes it possible, and even have it included in a software download, ready to send uncompressed video around the home at the drop of a hat? Do you think the likes of Broadcom and Atheros should license that type of technology? Or should they fight to own it outright and deprive one another of it.

For a full version of our analysis of this story please go to and order this week's copy of Faultine and perhaps sign up for a trial.

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