Intel bins WiGig hardware as it doubles down on VR efforts

Intel bins WiGig hardware as it doubles down on VR efforts

Intel bins WiGig hardware as it doubles down on VR efforts

Intel will focus on WiGig for AR and VR headsets

ANOTHER DAY, another Intel product has been binned.

Just days after announcing plans to discontinue its 6th-gen Skylake processors, Intel that it’s ditching almost all of its current WiGig, or 802.11ad hardware by the end of 2017, including antennas and controllers.

As first reported at AnandTech, Intel’s end of life (EOL) programme has been initiated for the Wireless Gigabit 11000 and Tri Band Wireless-AC 18260 controllers, the Wireless Gigabit Antenna-M M100041 and the Wireless Gigabit Sink W13100 products.

Intel has said that partners will be able to place orders up until 29 September, with the final shipments to be made on 29 December. 

WiGig, also known as the 802.11ad standard, uses the 60Ghz frequency band in order to allow compatible devices to communicate as quickly as 8Gbps.

Although speedy, the technology is in no way a replacement for WiFi or Bluetooth due to its inability to penetrate walls or work effectively beyond 30 feet, limitations which have forced Intel to focus its efforts on wireless docking stations, storage devices, displays and virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays. 

Related: Intel to bin its Galileo, Edison and Joule development boards

While some PC makers have released devices that feature Intel’s WiGig controllers and supporting docks, the technology has failed to see mass market adoption, with most OEMs instead opting for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 which provide better performance than WiGig, albeit without the wireless functionality. 

This is no doubt the reason why Intel has decided to bin the majority of its WiGig products and has also likely fuelled the firm’s decision to instead focus on VR headsets.

“Intel will focus its efforts on current and future WiGig for VR,” states the companies’ discontinuation notice.

Earlier this year, HTC and Intel showed off a wireless HTC Vive headset that made us of the WiGig tech, and a number of companies have also recently confirmed plans to develop wire-free VR products. It remains to be seen whether these will also adopt the WiGig standard. µ