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Is 10 Gigabit Wi-Fi Networking Coming Next Year?

Quantenna Communications is developing the world's first 10 Gigabit (10G) Wi-Fi chipset for a new generation of access points. The company is using a "novel" architecture that will enable MIMO configurations up to 8x8, speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second, and universal support for Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) clients.

The typical Wi-Fi device on today's market includes a 3x3 setup, which means the device is capable of sending and receiving three separate streams of data simultaneously. These can achieve throughput speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps on the 5 GHz band, whereas Quantenna's existing QSR1000 4x4 MIMO chipset can push that Wireless AC speed on the 5 GHz band up to 1.7 Gbps.

"Quantenna was the first to deliver 4x4 chipsets for the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, and the first to support MU-MIMO, an ingenious technology for transmitting data to multiple devices at once," states the PC. "With those innovations and others such as adaptive beamforming and channel monitoring and optimization, Quantenna's Wi-Fi reaches farther and transmits faster and more reliably than any other."

MU-MIMO is an advanced version of MIMO that can transmit data to multiple users at the same time by utilizing the antennas on a number of independent access points. In contrast, MIMO uses a single multi-antenna transmitter to communicate with a single multi-antenna receiver. The drawback to MU-MIMO is that it can only be used in the downstream direction as stated in the 802.11ac Wave 2 specification.

The company points out that Asus is currently using Quantenna's 802.11ac chipset to build the world's fastest consumer router. STMicro is building Quantenna Wi-Fi into a wide range of System-on-Chip (SOC) offerings while Texas Instruments is incorporating Quantenna technology into its reference platform for enterprise.

"We've made 4x4 MU-MIMO a reality, but we can't stop there," said Dr. Sam Heidari, CEO, Quantenna Communications. "Wi-Fi is no longer a convenience. People expect it to 'just work' even with demanding applications like HD video streaming. With Quantenna's 10G Wi-Fi, they'll always get the performance they expect—even as their expectations continue to rise."

Quantenna plans to make the first 10G Wi-Fi chipsets available in 2015, including support for MIMO configurations up to 8x8.

  • John Wittenberg
    It's all well and good, but the fastest wireless AC card (not usb stick) that you can get for a laptop only supports 2x2 for 866 mbps (Intel AC 7260). It's been out for a year now with no 3x3 yet.

    Show me a 3x3 AC card for laptops, and then I will start to believe that 8x8 showing up in the next 5 years is a possibility.
  • gwwerner
    This might enable 1 Gbps under ideal conditions.
  • icemunk
    How about standard 10gbe on wire first
  • milktea
    10GbE on wire is available with Thunderbolt 2 Networking
  • razor512
    Most networking companies are being lazy, what is the point of selling 3x3 routers if they are not going to sell 3x3 wifi adapters?

    Asus is still the only one with an old 3x3 AC wifi adapter.

    Furthermore, 8x8 will not be possible in most of the countries, it will only function in 3rd world countries.

    The reason being is that many countries have troll organizations similar to the FCC which create stupid restrictions such as limiting the channels which can be used. for example, on the 5GHz band, we really only have about 4 channels, all of the others have such horrible restrictions that some router companies will not include them, and the ones that do, will pop up a warning if you try to use them because the FCC limits makes those channels slow and unreliable to use.

    Going much higher than 5GHz, wil mean that higher performance wifi will require line of sight.

    At the moment, 256QAM is already pushing the limits of modern wifi radios, as it requires a low noise floor and a very high signal strength, meaning 256QAM largely already requires line of sight at a range within about 15-20 feet.
  • razor512
    10GbE on wire is available with Thunderbolt 2 Networking

    That method is more of a kludge. you are basically going back to the 1980's style computer networking where you do a round robin setup. It is also very expensive and less functional compared to modern 10gigabit ethernet network where you are basically paying $100 per 10 gigabit port.

    Furthermore, thunderbolt has DMA, this makes it inherently less secure. It may be okay for 2 computers, but it will not stale in a practical fashion beyond that, especially due to the length limitations and cable costs, and round robin networking.
  • matthelm
    And then it'll be hooked to a 10Mbs internet connection, and they'll try to stream everything, and not understand why it'll only do 10Mbs. ;-)
  • IndignantSkeptic
    This speed should be enough to give uncompressed visuals and let you spin around many times with Oculus Rift without strangling yourself on a wire.
  • netmind
    Just imagine how cool your next router would look with 8 anthennas :)
  • wombler
    There's a big gap between 1.7Gbps and 10Gbps. Either the article left out something critical, or this is another example of massively overselling a relatively minor advance (from 1.3 to 1.7).