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WHDI group completes 5GHz wireless video spec

Posted: 10 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless video? Wi-Fi? HDMI? digital home?

The WHDI Consortium has finalized the specification for wireless video over a 5GHz variant of Wi-Fi based on technology from startup chip designer Amimon. The technology is one of at least four major approaches to delivering wireless video in the digital home.

WHDI promises to carry high definition video at 1080-progressive resolution, 60Hz refresh rates and 12bit color depth up to 100 feet and through multiple walls. It offers maximum data rates up to 3Gbit/s using a 40MHz channel.

The spec upgrades Amimon's initial technology that was limited to support for 720-progressive video. It now supports the full High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) version 2.0. In addition, it includes a version of the Consumer Electronics Control protocol from HDMI expanded to handle video across multiple rooms in a house.

Amimon's current chipset includes separate two-chip receivers and transmitters that use a 90nm CMOS baseband and a silicon germanium radio. Transmitters consume up to 3W power.

The technical spec is so far available only to consortium members LG Electronics, Hitachi, Sharp, Motorola, Samsung and Sony. Companies can get access to the spec by joining the consortium at a rate of $2,000 per year if they sign up before the end of the year.

"That's how HDMI started out for the first couple years because you are trying to build a community and this is proprietary information," said Leslie Chard, president of WHDI LLC and former head of the licensing group for the HDMI wired video interconnect.

The group aims to have an interoperability test suite and certification lab in place by next fall. "We're not expecting first products using the technology until the third quarter or so, and by then will have all that sorted out," said Chard.

The spec arrives a year later than originally planned and 18 months after the consortium was announced.

During that time, Amimon lost a design win at Sony and began trying to license its technology to Wi-Fi chipmakers to get design wins in PCs. The startup said it hopes to have design wins with at least one top tier TV and one PC in 2010.

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