Is 60Ghz a Myth or a Reality?

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Hello my dear readers and as the continuation from the previous posts which talked about the fast world of Internet, this post will focus more on the technology behind the fast wifi and what made fast wifi choose this particular frequency band.

The ISM bands are the reserved portions of radio spectrum for the use of radio frequency for Industrial , scientific and medical purposes; most of the ISM bands frequencies are available worldwide and some band of frequencies are available according to regions. Many of these bands have already been used and the next frequency targeted is the 60 Ghz band. There is a huge amount of unlicensed spectrum in the 60 Ghz band. They have been used because of the availability of the unlicensed spectrum, and for the ever increasing demand from the applications that are available to the users these days. The spectrum allocation of the 60 Ghz band is shown in the figure 1.

Figure 1: The Unlicensed Frequency Spectrum of 60Ghz [1].
Figure 1: The Unlicensed Frequency Spectrum of 60Ghz [1].
  The questions rises as to why 60 Ghz?

They are selected because they provide very high speeds at short distances . The spectrum availability in that frequency range is upto 7 Ghz which are typically divided into channels of roughly 2 Ghz each. As you can see the frequency range is very wide and largely unconsummated. Also Si-Ge and CMOS technologies offer a single chip solution for Gigahertz frequency components. Beamforming is easy with these frequency bands and spatial reusing is easy as directional antennas can b e used.  Now to the cons of the 60 Ghz band – As already mentioned it is ultra fast at short distances only, because of the path loss as the electromagnetic wave moves through the air and these transmissions can struggle to penetrate walls. In  order to compensate for this loss, a high gain antenna is required. Attenuation will be very large as it is directly proportional to frequency and also in case of designing components for this range of frequency, it requires good work for radio engineers as the frequency is very large and the power consumption will play a major role.

Now who are all the Contenders for the 60 Ghz band?

There are multiple contenders who are working on the 60 Ghz band namely the Wireless HD , IEEE 802.15.3c, WiGig and IEEE 802.11ad. Among these contenders WiGig is not a mere standard by itself and they have been mentioned in the IEEE 802.11ad which is the real standard that uses the 60 Ghz band. This is the case of 2014, but both of these associations started standardization of the 60 Ghz band in 2008 and they have WiGig 1.0 standard[2] and IEEE 802.11ad with draft no.9 [3]. Apart from them even ECMA – 387[4] and CMMW study group[5,6] has started standardization of the 60 Ghz band.

WiGig is not really a standard that would be added into wireless routers. Instead, 802.11ad is a wireless networking standard that uses the 60GHz frequency and is for high-speed communications between devices within a wireless network – Kelly Davis Felner, VP – Marketing, WiFi alliance.

Each of the standardization associations have brought in some changes and aims to develop technology for them. Out of these 4 mentioned standardization association, we will see about the WiGig and the IEEE 802.11ad features that have brought some good technical aspects. They have considered certain layers to eliminate certain day to day cables and certain gadgets that we use in the modern day. But all these details will be known in the next blog, and the questions that will be answered in the next post will be

  • What are all the changes that have been made in different standardizations?
  • Why do one association have better features than the other?
  • How is the MAC and the Physical Layer function in this standard?

Until then quickly learn what is the MAC and Physical Layers from our favorite friend Wikipedia.

 

Regards,

Manigandan Siva.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://windowsil.org/2008/03/13/60-ghz-wireless-communications/

[2]“WGA-D1.0,” Wireless Gigabit Alliance draft specification, July 2010

[3] “Wireless lan MAC and PHY specifications -enhancements for very high throughput in the 60 GHz band,” IEEE Std 802.11.ad/D9.0 draft specification, pp. 1 – 679, July 2012.

[4] “HighRate 60 GHz PHY, MAC and HDMI PALs,” ECMA International, December 2010. [Online]. Available: http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-387.htm

[5] “China millimeter wave study group.” [Online]. Available: http://www.ieee802.org/11/Reports/cmmw update.htm

EXTRAS : (For knowing about other published standardization document)

[1] “WirelessHD Specification Overview,” 9, October 2007. [Online]. Available: http://www.wirelessHD.org

[2] “MAC and PHY specification for high rate wireless PANs,” IEEE Std 802.15.3c-2009, pp. c1 –187, Oct 2009.

 

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