Samsung promises 60GHz 802.11ad support

October 13, 2014 // 11:29 a.m.

Tags: #80211ac #80211ad #samsung #wi-fi #wireless-networking

Samsung Electronics has announced plans to support the 802.11ad Wi-Fi networking standard, based on a 60GHz spectrum, which the company claims offers a five-fold speed boost over current alternatives.

The most up-to-date Wi-Fi standard currently commercially available is 802.11ac, which has the theoretical potential - though not yet demonstrated commercially - to scale up to 2,600Mb/s in the 5GHz spectrum. That's a lot of bandwidth, but not enough for the Wi-Fi standards body which announced the development of 802.11ad back in 2012. An upgraded form of 802.11ac, 802.11ad uses the 60GHz spectrum and can boost speeds between five and ten times that of its predecessors.

Despite having been announced two years ago, commercial support for 802.11ad is thin on the ground largely thanks to difficulties in making best use of the extremely short wavelengths of the 60GHz spectrum. That's something Samsung claims to have resolved, and to prove it has pledged commercial support for a 4,600Mb/s 802.11ad implementation in the near future.

'Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialisation of 60GHz millimetre-wave band Wi-Fi technology and looks forward to commercialising this breakthrough technology,' claimed Samsung's Kim Chang Yong in an announcement of the breakthrough. 'New and innovative changes await Samsung’s next-generation devices, while new possibilities have been opened up for the future development of Wi-Fi technology.'

The commercialised 802.11ad implementation developed by Samsung is claimed to play better with congested networks than its predecessors, and uses novel circuit and antenna designs which are said to address the biggest problems with the 60GHz frequency band: line-of-sight coverage restrictions owing to extremely poor penetration characteristics. The initial design is said to offer data transfer rates of 575MB/s - easily enough for high-definition AV streaming, Samsung's likely initial target market - although the company has not stated the range at which this test was carried out.

More details of the technology are available from the official announcement, but Samsung has not yet indicated a launch date for its first 802.11ad products.
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