Wireless PCI Express connectivity to arrive next year

By Matthew Smith on July 15, 2010, 11:40 AM
Atheros and Wilocity have announced a partnership that will see the companies producing tri-band wireless devices capable of operating both at the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies used by 802.11n, as well as the 60GHz frequency required by upcoming WiGig systems. Besides combining the ubiquity and coverage of Wi-Fi with multi-gigabit speeds, the move will enable many new applications, among which there will be products featuring wireless PCI Express technology.

The technology will make it possible to remotely connect any device that would normally use a PCIe connection, including eSATA, Firewire, USB controllers. These devices would sit on the PCIe slots of a separate "DockingZone" and have their signals beamed to a receiver card on your notebook. It is also conceivable that a video card could use this connection to provide external graphics acceleration. That said, speed is initially expected to be around 5Gbps. While that blows away Wireless N's maximum of 600Mbps, it's still not fast enough for a serious video card.

Since the spec is compatible with current wireless networks, one adapter can be used for both networking and wireless PCIe connectivity. That makes it more likely to catch on with customers. The technology is also transparent to operating systems, which means remote PCIe devices will appear as if they were all installed locally on your machine.

Sampling will not take place until next year, so don't expect to see wPCIe available until mid to late 2011 at the earliest.




User Comments: 6

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princeton princeton said:

Even if you could put a video card with sufficient bandwidth would this have some way to power the 6/8 pin slots?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I could see something like this making an interesting "dock" for laptops... I really miss having a docking station for when I am at work (last one I had was in 2000), and what could be better than a completely wireless dock? Color me intrigued by the possibilities here...

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

considering there are already PCIe network adapters i figured this would have happened already...

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

802.11n is only 300mbps @ 2.4GHz (real world it's 150mbps actually 65 to 130mbps)

802.11n is only 300mbps @ 5.0GHz same rule applies. There is no 600mbps just dual speeds 2/600 = 300mbps. 802.11(a,n) for 5.0GHz range. PCIe already in the Gig dual direction cards which are only 600 to 700mbps. So what are they showing for numbers if the wPCIe can really work? That's going to change everything in wireless router technology as we no it. Well nonsense spending $199.99 for a DLINK DIR-665 Dual band N450 Gig Router with 1GHz WNPU since that wireless is PCI base just like the Gig Controller inside the unit. Only the Trendnet TEW-691GU has PCIe based along with PCI in that WNPU 500MHz 64MB N450 router. Which cost $199 and up. Gets messy. I use EnGenius ESR-9850 WNPU RT3052 384MHz, 32MB of dual 16MB DDR RAM, 16dBm / 40mW for TX transmitter, does put out. it's routing speed on the Gig side was measured to 740mbps. LAN to LAN and WAN to LAN measures over 600mbps. BT and gaming you can max out at 19,000 to 50,000 (latest firmware) for MSC (max session connection) all for $50+ bucks. Depends on where you buy it.

I've wrote a review with pictures of course and there is hands-on 8 videos on ESR-9850 Wireless N300 Gig AP/WDS/Router here: [link]

Zeromus said:

A wireless graphics card.....at least it wont overheat with the computer. Seriously why do people do these things?

Guest said:

I think this would be briliant, also it would mean you could easily use the same device in several machines, I wonder if it would also be possible to share the same device whilst in use with other machines? or use other machines resources if they were next to each other?

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