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Quantenna Communications, a high-performance Wi-Fi chipmaker, today announced that it is developing an 8×8 MIMO architecture with adaptive beamforming that promises significantly higher throughput. Using 8 receive antennas and 8 transmit antennas, Quantenna says up to 10 Gigabits/second are possible using their Wi-Fi chipset and 160 MHz channels.

Quantenna claims to be the first to deliver 4×4 chipsets for the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, and the first to support Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO), for transmitting data to multiple devices at once. Multiuser MIMO can increase transmission speed by increasing the number of antennas at the base station, without consuming more frequency bandwidth.

“This architecture will also significantly enhance the capabilities of MU-MIMO, allowing it to support interference-free transmission to many more devices simultaneously,” said Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Quantenna’s 8×8 MIMO is not going into smartphones or USB sticks anytime soon. But 8×8 MIMO Wi-Fi could be useful for applications that require solid, ultra high-speed wireless performance.

Of course bonding 8, 20MHz channels to achieve 160MHz of bandwidth will leave just two non-overlapping channels in North America – presumably one for Comcast and one for AT&T.

Mimosa is using Quantenna Wi-Fi to deliver innovative outdoor wireless solutions.

Qualcomm this month launched three-and four-stream 802.11ac MU-MIMO chipsets for routers and gateways, and will launch two separate chipsets for enterprise access points. The company also announced new Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipsets for end user mobile devices. MU-MIMO requires an enabled chipset in both the Wi-Fi access point and the client.

Broadcom today announced the company’s 5G WiFi XStream chip platform, which will include what they said is the industry’s first six-stream 802.11ac multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) offering.

Broadcom says it delivers data rates up to 3.2 Gbps. The new platform is designed to double the performance of current WiFi devices for high-definition streaming and data, and has twice the bandwidth of existing (3 stream) 802.11ac routers and gateways.

But Ruckus explains that a network needs to have client devices that all support 80/160 MHz channels (in 5 GHz) and 3/4 spatial streams.

In reality nearly every WiFi network will have:

  • Some single-stream client devices, like mobile phones and tablets.
  • Some two-stream client devices, like tablets and many laptops.
  • Some 11a/g/n devices that don’t support 11ac maximums.
  • Some clients in the service area that aren’t 3 meters from the AP—and thus subject to lower data rates.

If your WiFi network has any of these client types (and it does), then you can kiss any gigabit dreams goodbye.

WiFi Guru Tim Higgins explains Why 802.11ac Will Kill The 5 GHz Wi-Fi Band. Still, 8×8 MIMO might be useful on drones 12 miles up or as a tractor beam for nearby asteroids.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Ruckus Goes AC with ZoneFlex R700, Quantenna: 802.11ac Chipset, Marvel 802.11ac: Now with 4×4 Beamforming, Buffalo 802.11ac Routers, Ubiquiti 802.11ac Outdoor Access Points, Large 802.11ac Installs by Aruba, FCC Authorizes High Power at 5.15 – 5.25 GHz

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