A group of big-name technology companies including Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Broadcom and Marvell have joined together to introduce and promote a new short-range wireless standard that could deliver up to 6Gbps transfer speeds by the end of this year. The Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance plans to use unlicensed 60GHz waves for a wide range of applications, from simple data transfers to streaming of high-def media on a variety of devices.

The idea is to eventually have WiGig chips inside everything from computers to handhelds to any type of consumer electronics so that large files can be transmitted wirelessly without latency issues. The downside, however, is that the technology is limited to one room and it generally requires a line-of-sight connection to transmit the signals.

Multiple high-speed alternatives have been touted in recent years, such as the Ultra-WideBand (UWB) common radio platform that powers the Wireless USB standard, as well as WirelessHD and the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) specification; but none has really taken serious hold. The WiGig Alliance believes their "unified" approach is the way to go and expects to have a completed specification in the fourth quarter of this year, with products based on the standard likely hitting the market next year.