Gigabit Wireless Chipset Solution

The emerging 802.11ac standard is poised to deliver significantly faster data rates. The new specification expands on the broad frequency bands and multiple-antenna capabilities of 802.11n to meet growing consumer demand for faster retail wireless routers, access points and high-end consumer electronics devices. Quantenna is the first company to offer a 802.11ac gigabit wireless chipset solution that is built on a robust 4x4 MIMO foundation, as a complement to high-reliability products that it has optimized for the demanding requirements of the service provider segment.

The 802.11ac specification is designed to significantly increase throughput. Unlike existing 802.11 technologies that operate in one or both of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, 802.11ac operates exclusively in the 5GHz band while maintaining backwards-compatibility with 802.11n and other 802.11 technologies operating in the same band.

There are several physical Layer (PHY) improvements within the 802.11ac specification, including increased bandwidth per channel, more spatial streams, higher-order modulation (256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), and Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology. 802.11ac also supports earlier 802.11n advanced digital communication techniques including space division multiplexing, LDPC coding, shortened guard interval (short GI), Space-Time Block Coding (STBC), and explicit-feedback transmit beamforming. The MAC layer includes several earlier 802.11n improvements including the larger maximum size of aggregate MAC Protocol Data Units (MPDUs).

Additionally, 802.11ac supports 80 MHz channels as well as 20 MHz and 40 MHz channels, plus the optional use of contiguous 160 MHz channels or non-contiguous 80+80 MHz channels. While 80 MHz systems can user fewer antennas to provide the same performance as a 40 MHz system, this eliminates diversity and reduces transmission strength, which causes problems for high-quality video content. For this reason, it is critical that 802.11ac solutions be built on a solid 4x4 MIMO foundation, in order to meet carrier demand for at least 120 Mbps sustained data rates and near-perfect PER data transfer performance to deliver a suitable video entertainment and gaming experience.

Enables Spectrum to be Used More Efficiently

The combination of 802.11ac with 4x4 MIMO and a maximum number of spatial streams also enables spectrum to be used more efficiently. Next-generation 802.11ac systems will need to use space-division multiplexing, LDPC, STBC, beamforming, and a variety of other PHY, MAC and coexistence enhancements. Quantenna delivers these capabilities in a single, high-performance 802.11ac solution.

802.11ac technology is an important new development for meeting today's need for speed. A solid foundation has been established with 4x4 MIMO solutions that deliver full HDTV quality with 1080p and higher video resolution, all the time, anywhere in the home. This, married with 802.11ac technology, offers an ideal solution for high-performance routers in the retail and consumer electronics market segments.