WiFi Alliance Unveils Wi-Fi Direct Certification

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

WiFi Direct-certified devices can connect with older Wi-Fi Certified devices, the trade organization noted.

The WiFi Alliance, a trade association that promotes Wireless LAN technology and certifies products if they conform to certain standards of interoperability, announced that it has begun certifying products capable of making device-to-device connections, designating those products WiFi Certified WiFi Direct. WiFi Direct devices directly connect with other devices for applications such as content sharing, synching and printing.

WiFi Direct-certified devices can connect with older WiFi Certified devices, enabling a range of devices already in use to connect with products implementing WiFi Direct from the certification program's inception. WiFi Direct devices include a push-button set up mechanism, employ the latest WPA2 security protections, and bring typical WiFi throughput and range. WiFi Direct-certified devices can support WiFi Certified n technology as well as older forms of WiFi. 

"We designed WiFi 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 WiFi Alliance. "WiFi 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 first products to be designated WiFi Certified WiFi Direct, and which form the test suite for the certification program are the Atheros XSPAN dual-band 802.11n PCIe Mini Card (AR928x), Broadcom’s BCM43224 dual-band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO PCIe half mini card the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200, Ralink’s MIMObility 802.11n 2x2 PCIe half mini card and Realtek’s RTL8192CE-VA4 HM92C00 PCIe mini card. In addition, the Cisco 2106 Wireless LAN Controller and Cisco Aironet 1240 Series Access Points were used in the certification test suite.

"WiFi Direct is a game-changing advance for WiFi technology," said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst at IT analytics firm 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."

According to a September report from the WiFi Alliance and Wakefield Research, 64 percent of young people in the United States report that WiFi connectivity helps them maintain relationships with their friends. Moreover, young Americans also report they often gather around devices for entertainment, with about 90 percent of people reporting they have gathered around a portable device to look at pictures, videos or video games.