Wi-Fi Direct brings device-to-device connectivity

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Wi-Fi Direct has finally become a reality, with the Wi-Fi Alliance certifying its first product.

Compatible devices can connect directly without the need for a network, essentially becoming their own wireless hotspot. The standard will allow simple wireless gaming, content sharing, and printing applications, and should be faster than Bluetooth at over 300Mbps throughput.

"We designed Wi-Fi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications which require device connections, but do not need the internet or even a traditional network," said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance.  "Wi-Fi Direct empowers users to connect devices - when, where and how they want to, and our certification program delivers products that work well together, regardless of the brand."

The new devices will be able to connect with older Wi-Fi certified devices.  They include a push-button setup mechanism and employ WPA2 security.

"Wi-Fi Direct is a game-changing advance for Wi-Fi technology," said Victoria Fodale, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.  "As people continue to increase the number of devices and the amount of content they carry, Wi-Fi Direct extends an already-compelling technology into an even more useful, convenient solution for all the things people want to do with their devices."

Broadcom's BCM43224 dual-band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO PCIe half mini card is one of the first products to get the endorsement.  The company says it plans to incorporate Wi-Fi Direct across its entire portfolio, including phones, PCs, Blu-Ray players, gateways, access points/routers, printers, televisions, set-top boxes, games and portable media players. It will also offer its InConcert Maestro APIs along with its Wi-Fi-Direct certified devices.

"Now that the final certification is in place, we expect that Wi-Fi Direct will enhance the tremendous growth of this already burgeoning market," said Michael Hurlston, senior VP and general manager of Broadcom's WLAN line of business.