Wi-Fi Alliance now certifies Wi-Fi direct products

The Wi-Fi Alliance announces that it now has started a program to certify Wi-Fi Direct products and designate them as Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read

Wi-Fi Direct helps making connections between Wi-Fi-enabled devices much more flexible.
Wi-Fi Direct helps making connections between Wi-Fi-enabled devices much more flexible. Wi-Fi Alliance

First demonstrated at CES 2010, Wi-Fi Direct has taken another step to become part of the Wi-Fi usage spectrum.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the group that tests and certifies Wi-Fi products to make sure they interoperate, announced today that it has begun certifying products capable of making Wi-Fi-based device-to-device connections and designating them Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct.

Traditionally, Wi-Fi clients need to connect to a central place, called an access point, before they can connect to one another in their "infrastructure" mode. Other than that, they can also connect in pairs via a mode called "ad-hoc," which is limited both in range and throughput speed.

Wi-Fi Direct, on the other hand, allows Wi-Fi devices to connect to one another without an access point at the same speed and range of the infrastructure mode. They can also establish a connection much faster via Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a method that enables connecting devices by pressing a button. In other words, Wi-Fi Direct allows Wi-Fi products to connect much like Bluetooth devices but at a much faster speed and a much longer range.

With this flexibility, Wi-Fi Direct devices fill an important hole in daily usage: directly connecting devices for applications such as content sharing, synching, printing, and gaming anywhere, without users having to carry along an access point.

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, another advantage of Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct devices is the fact that they can work with traditional Wi-Fi Certified devices, as they act as a mini access point, to which traditional Wi-Fi products can connect.

The Wi-Fi Alliance say that it formed the test suite for the certification program by using the following products, which are also the first that are designated Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct:

  • Atheros XSPAN dual-band 802.11n PCIe mini card (AR928x)
  • Broadcom BCM43224 dual-band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO PCIe half mini card
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200
  • Ralink MIMObility 802.11n 2x2 PCIe half mini card
  • Realtek RTL8192CE-VA4 HM92C00 PCIe mini card

The group used the Cisco 2106 Wireless LAN Controller and Cisco Aironet 1240 Series Access Points for the  certification test suite.