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In order to realize high speed, long range, reliable transmission in millimeter-wave 60 GHz wireless personal area networks (60 GHz WPANs), we propose a beamforming (BF) protocol realized in media access control (MAC) layer on top of multiple physical layer (PHY) designs. The proposed BF protocol targets to minimize the BF set-up time and to mitigate the high path loss of 60 GHz WPAN systems. It consists of 3 stages, namely the device (DEV) to DEV linking, sector-level searching and beam-level searching. The division of the stages facilitates significant reduction in setup time as compared to BF protocols with exhaustive searching mechanisms. The proposed BF protocol employs discrete phase-shifters, which significantly simplifies the structure of DEVs as compared to the conventional BF with phase-and-amplitude adjustment, at the expense of a gain degradation of less than 1 dB. The proposed BF protocol is a complete design and PHY-independent, it is applicable to different antenna configurations. Simulation results show that the setup time of the proposed BF protocol is as small as 2% when compared to the exhaustive searching protocol. Furthermore, based on the codebooks with four phases per element, around 15.1 dB gain is achieved by using eight antenna elements at both transmitter and receiver, thereby enabling 1.6 Gbps-data-streaming over a range of three meters. Due to the flexibility in supporting multiple PHY layer designs, the proposed protocol has been adopted by the IEEE 802.15.3c as an optional functionality to realize Gbps communication systems.