16/11/2011

New start-up Quantenna gets Gigabit WiFi out

WiFi has been around a while but there are always improvements being made. The last major release 802.11n support MIMO, faster transmission speeds and auto-channel selection.

A new standard 802.11ac is an improvement to WiFi operating in the 5GHz band (an improvement to the old 802.11a standard) supporting 80MHz channels (802.11a supports 10/20MHz channels) though it has not actually been ratified yet.

The leaders in the WiFi chip business are Qualcomm Atheros and Broadcom but a new start-up Quantenna with funding from Telefonica has released a new chipset QAC2300 which implements the draft 802.11ac standard. The greater channel size will allow for in-home streaming of things like HD video.

The other major new standard is 802.11ad which operates in the 60GHz band (which is also license exempt in the UK) and this will also allow for extremely high speed services, though the range is very limited as pretty much everything will stop a low power 60GHz signal (like glass and walls) and at higher power it's dangerous as it's ionising radiation which can cause damage to human tissue.