Sony Looks to Make Your HD Television Connections Wireless

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sony and a research team at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed an RF and baseband chip capable of wireless data transfers at up to 6.3Gbps operating on the 60GHz millimeter wave band. The new chip is specifically for use on mobile devices, and is being showcased at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco this week. It sets new records not only for millimeter-wave wireless transfer speed (the equivalent of a 50GB Blu-ray disc in just over a minute) but also power use, requiring a meager 74mW at its max speed.
According to Sony:
In recent years, the demand for ever-increasing wireless communication speeds has led to a consequential increase in the need for more frequencies. In particular, the shortage of frequencies under 6 GHz has become an increasingly critical issue. Additionally, the amounts of inter-device data transmission has also quickly risen due to enhancements in the sound and image quality of audio data, photos, and the video images used for TV, mobile devices and online video-sharing services. Such enhancements have driven the need for the technologies that facilitate the inter-device transmission of large amounts of data at much higher speeds.
In order to accommodate these expected future developments, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Sony have jointly developed a millimeter-wave wireless data transfer technology that realizes both high-speed and low-power data transfer between mobile devices. Implementation of this technology will enable users to transmit and receive data at much higher speeds between mobile devices without the need for cable connections. This technology will also enable users to enjoy uncompressed high-quality video streaming from a mobile device to a display.

The 60GHz millimeter wave band (so called because of its wavelength of 1 to 10 millimeters) is not only used for those uncomfortable airport security screenings, but also for standards like Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) and WirelessHD (WiHD). There's no word on when the new chips might hit the market, but judging from the gnarled mess of wires behind our TVs, the sooner the better.