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60 GHz Technology Makes Waves at CES 2016

Gigabit Wireless Booth
Posted 02/03/2016 by Jean-Marc Laurent

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In the depths of winter, with glitter from New Year celebrations still being cleaned off the streets, nearly 4,000 exhibitors descended upon Las Vegas. Starting your year with CES has become an annual rite of passage for consumer electronics companies, and with more than 20,000 products it looks like CES 2016 was another record setting show.

By now if you’ve seen the headlines, you know that this was the year of connected cars, flexible televisions, drones, VR, and wearables (again). These are the stories that everyone talks about, the almost-ready products that are going to delight consumers in 2016. But behind the headlines, there is another side of CES, where technology companies privately demonstrate the next-generation of technology and concepts to consumer electronics manufacturers. This is where the technology that drives future products that will make their debut at a future CES can first be seen.

Lattice was proud to participate in CES again this year and demonstrate a number of exciting technology concepts that will help make the future of consumer electronics possible. Our 60GHz millimeter wave solutions based on our SiBEAM technology included close range wireless connectors, in-room wireless video and data connectors for the home, and long-range solutions that will help connect office buildings together.

SiBEAM Snap

SiBEAM Snap Demo

First introduced at CES 2015, Snap is a wireless connector technology that allows manufacturers to build high performance, robust products without the need for data cables. This year, the flexibility, performance and robustness of the Snap connector was highlighted.

First, two demonstration kits were mounted on a fixture that allowed the alignment of the two modules to be adjusted in X Y and Z dimensions. This allowed us to demonstrate how Snap is able to manage to misalignment with our 10x tolerance factor.

Second, we were able to demonstrate one of the great promises of wireless connectors, increasing the robustness of the devices they go into. A Sony 4K action camera was retrofitted with a Snap demo kit (w/ pogo pins for power) inside a waterproof shell case. Complete with our fishbowl to set the stage for this demo (with a fish named Snap of course!), we showed how easy it is to transmit your images live over a Snap connection to a nearby PC, without needing to open up the case that could be damaged by wet or muddy hands.

Connectors are one of the most common failure points in almost any electronic device, and any device that requires someone to regularly plug in a connector can benefit from Snap technology. Devices are also reaching the point where the physical size of the connector is beginning to obstruct manufacturers’ ability to make thinner and sleeker devices. Snap solves both the problems, with an elegant solution that promises to help mobile phones, docking tablets, and a variety of other electronic devices become tougher and more beautiful at the same time.

WirelessHD 4K

Gigabit Wireless Demo

WirelessHD is a mature, market-proven solution for manufacturers looking for a reliable high-definition wireless connection for projectors and televisions. We demonstrated the ability to transmit 4K (at 4K30 444) content wirelessly over a single link. WirelessHD is the leader in this market segment, and with the addition of a single link 4K connection, the benefits of a high quality, low latency wireless video solution continues to be compelling to manufacturers trying to offer flexibility and freedom to their customers.

802.11ad

At CES we also unveiled our contribution to the growing Wi-Fi 802.11ad ecosystem, with an 802.11ad USB3 NIC dongle. This dongle was able to wirelessly transmit up to 1.3 Gigabit per seconds of bandwidth over an AD Wi-Fi home network. With Qualcomm and Intel committed to the 802.11ad ecosystem, not to mention the support of the Wi-Fi organizers, we are excited to participate in this exciting market segment that is poised for explosive growth.

Wireless Backhaul

One of the great things about millimeter wave technology is how flexible it is. The same fundamental technology and benefits can be applied in a package that is tuned for very near connections (Snap), for in-room or in-home data and video applications (WirelessHD and 802.11ad), or for long distance applications. In all cases, SiBEAM millimeter wave technology enables manufacturers to have a wireless, high bandwidth, very low latency connection.

In the case of wireless backhaul, we applied our 60 GHz technology to a very practical IT problem, adding bandwidth in a cost effective manner. With bandwidth needs continuing to increase, it can be quite expensive to retrofit an office campus with upgraded data connections. One solution is using wireless technology to quickly and easily add bandwidth. We demonstrated a backhaul solution at 20 meters (supports up to 100 meters) transmitting at 800Mbps each direction.

Conclusion

While the headline grabbing products were certainly worth celebrating this year, we are just as excited to see how wireless video can make the next-generation of products even better. Snap technology will enable manufacturers to make more durable and sleeker mobile products. WirelessHD will help televisions maintain their thin shape, and free VR goggles from inflexible video cables. 802.11ad and wireless backhaul are going to help data move around easier and faster than ever. As we reflect on all the great new products we saw in 2016, we are already looking forward to CES 2017, and seeing how 60 GHz wireless technology has helped shape the next generation of products.

If you are interested in seeing these demonstrations live, they will next be shown at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, from February 22-25th. Interested parties can email us at info@sibeam.com to get more information or to set up a meeting.

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