Multi-user MIMO Routers Announced

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Asus’s new 802.11ac router, the RT-AC87U, is the first commercial router that supports Wave 2 802.11ac, using a chip from Quadtenna.

Wave 2 uses multi-user multiple-input-multiple-output, or MU-MIMO. While MIMO can transmit multiple parallel streams of data over the same spectrum, until now those paralled streams couldn’t go to multiple people simultaneously.

As GigOm puts it: An 802.11ac network is a four-lane highway, but Wave 1 networks can only let a single car onto that highway at any given moment.

A Wave 2 MU-MIMO network could let three or four cars onto that highway simultaneously, making much more efficient use of the capacity at its disposal.

Today at CES, D-Link made several announcements, including a new Wi-Fi Baby Camera, two new wireless extenders, a network video recorder, and a portable AC router.

Linksys has gone retro with the look of their new WRT1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi Router. It has the classic blue/black color scheme of the WRT54G 802.11g router, with all-new hardware inside, including a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM processor, 128MB of flash memory, and 256MB of DDR3 RAM. Linksys will have an Open WRT SDK (software-development kit) ready when the new router ships later this spring, similar to the Netgear R7000 802.11ac router.

The Marvell chipset Linksys chose for the WRT1900AC is limited to three spatial streams, but the WRT1900AC will use all four antennas to determine the best combination, and it will then turn off whichever single antenna delivers the least throughput.

The router will support throughput of 600 mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency band using the 802.11n protocol and a physical link rate of 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz frequency band using the 802.11ac protocol.

The router will be capable of sharing both USB storage and a USB printer over the network. It features USB 3.0 port; one eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port; support for just about any hard drive format, including FAT, NTFS, and HFS+; and four external, removable antennas. It will have a four-port gigabit switch and a gigabit WAN port. The Linksys WRT1900AC will cost $300.

Broadcom announced today at CES 2014 two new Wi-Fi system-on-a-chips to offer Wi-Fi speed and range while reducing processing power of the host device.

Broadcom’s BCM43569 wireless networking chip lets a smart TV receive both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals simultaneously, while Broadcom’s BCM43602 chip embeds a lot of processing power for Wi-Fi networking. Both chips support beamforming.

By the end of 2014, 802.11ac is expected to be included in more than 50 percent of total Wi-Fi ICs shipped,” said Phil Solis, research director at market research firm ABI Research.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 10:49 am .

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