Nitero, which specializes in wireless products using 60 gigahertz transmissions, recently unveiled a product line that promises to bring a superfast wireless Internet connection to your smartphone.
Known as WiGig, the new technology essentially promises wireless connections that are several times faster than most current WiFi ones, albeit at very short ranges. WiFi operates in two main frequency bands, 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz. WiGig operates at 60 gigahertz, and is estimated to send data three to four times faster than the fastest version of WiFi.
"I can't at this point talk about the level of interest or any specific customer, we're not ready to do that yet," Kelly said. "But we have had customers say that, 'Hey, if you can get this to us in production next year or sooner, as soon as you can get that to us, we're going to put it into a phone.'"
It could be a huge market for Nitero -- because if the new technology is adopted, the major smartphone makers would presumably all jump on board.
"The market for 60 GHz WiFi is set to pick up in a big way in 2015," said
But there are some big players getting involved in the market, too.
This month, wireless chipmaker
Financial terms weren't disclosed. Online publication TheMarker in May reported that a deal was imminent, putting the price at
Wilocity, founded in 2007 and based in
For example, companies have proposed using WiGig for replacing wires to send video between components in the same room.
"If you are a leader in WiFi you have to have WiGig," Faintuch said. "If you don't have it in time, you have a problem."
Nitero was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in downtown Austin with design operations in
Since 2011, the company has been growing substantially, Kelly said, and now has about 50 employees. About half of those work in
"Austin actually just ended up being a great place to have the headquarters -- you've got the talent and then (opportunities) on the investment side as well," he said.
To date, Nitero has raised
Nitero's first product is intended for mobile and display/peripheral devices, with production shipment slated for next year. Product demonstrations are already underway with select partners and customers, none of whom Kelly would name.
Like other analysts, Moorhead said the technology is very promising.
"WiGig helps remove the video cable and nearly any other cable, for that matter," he wrote in a column for Forbes' website. "I'm looking forward to the day where I can walk into my office and drop my PC, tablet, or phone on my desk and I can start doing work right off that very device without plugging in any cables."
It will also allow the transmission of extremely high-quality video, known as 4K video. Also known as "Ultra HD," 4K resolution is a display device or content having horizontal resolution on the order of 4,000 pixels.
"While for many, the bottleneck today has been the speed of the Internet, as the size of the files we want to share and internet bandwidth increases, the bottleneck would become WiFi," Moorhead wrote. "And that's where 60 GHz comes into play.
Kelly says he expects Nitero's chips to be in top-tier smartphones when the makers eventually adopt the technology. It also has potential for high-speed video distribution (imagine quickly downloading a video from a retailer like Redbox).
And Kelly said that could just be the beginning.
"The interesting thing is we've talked to a lot of the TV makers and because the smartphone market is such a big market, that as soon as the smart phone adopts it, the TV guys have said they will immediately start putting it into TVs," he said.
Additional material from
(c)2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas
Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services