Wireless communications specialist Quantenna has announced the development of a Wi-Fi chipset capable of ten gigabit per second (10Gb/s) throughput, with plans to release it commercially next year.
Quantenna's existing MU-MIMO chipset can be found in Asus' newest router, but its success next year promises up to 10Gb/s of bandwidth via 802.11ac's MU-MIMO technology.
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding Wi-Fi - aside from alleged health implications, disproved by scientific rigour - is that its performance can lag behind that of a wired connection. Even if you're right next to an access point, the actual throughput of a 1.3Gb/s 802.11n Wi-Fi link is usually well below that of a 1Gb/s wired Ethernet connection - and the further away you travel from the access point, the slower it gets. Said bandwidth is also shared between all users; if you're on a heavily-congested access point, you can expect the performance of your connection to drop significantly.
Quantenna is hoping to resolve this problem by giving wireless connections significantly more headroom, starting with a 10Gb/s chipset based on the 802.11ac standard which improves support for Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) connectivity. Extending the existing MIMO technology, which uses multiple antennas to isolate signals and reject noise, MU-MIMO allows for multiple connections to individual client devices which are no longer competing for the same bandwidth. The result: significantly improved performance and reliability.
'Quantenna’s 8x8 architecture with adaptive beamforming demonstrates that the ‘massive MIMO’ promise of significantly higher throughput, robustness, and reduced interference can be realised in practice,
' claimed Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, in support of the company's work. 'This architecture will also significantly enhance the capabilities of MU-MIMO, allowing it to support interference-free transmission to many more devices simultaneously. These technology advances will transform the landscape of applications and devices that Wi-Fi can support.
Quantenna's MU-MIMO chipset is already used in Asus' latest Wi-Fi router, but the version due for release in 2015 will be considerably improved. 'Wi-Fi is no longer a convenience,
' claimed Quantenna chief executive Sam Heidari at the announcement. 'People expect it to ‘just work’ even with demanding applications like HD video streaming. With Quantenna’s 10G Wi-Fi, they’ll always get the performance they expect—even as their expectations continue to rise.
The company's existing chipset, which supports 4x4 MU-MIMO antenna configurations, will be extended in 2015 to support 8x8 MU-MIMO setups offering a total aggregate throughput of 10Gb/s. How much such a feature will add on to the cost of commercially available routers and access points that choose to implement it, however, has not been announced.