Wireless AC Gets Its First Fully Integrated Network SoC From Qualcomm

Qualcomm Artheros announced its first fully integrated SoC designed specifically for the growing number of 802.11ac Wave 2 products in the wireless market. Called the IPQ40x8/x9, the new SoC will be used in a variety of networking devices that use Wireless AC's Wave 2 standard, including consumer routers, range extenders, carrier LTEs, and enterprise access points.

802.11ac Wave 2 is the second generation of the Wireless AC spec, and not only does it bring faster 2.34 Gbps speeds to 802.11ac, it also adds efficient ways to help devices connect and stay connected, including technologies such as MU-MIMO, Beamforming and more spatial streams. Wave 2 is still fairly new to the market and was released in mostly router-like products thus far, but other wireless products are not too far off on the horizon.

The IPQ40x8/x9 SoC will integrate several Qualcomm components built into its silicon, starting with the company's next-gen quad-core Internet Processor (IPQ), which in its current version is a dual-core ARM processor that runs in IoT devices and provides wireless products with the needed processing ability to support operations while efficiently adjusting power usage.

Also included in the IPQ40x8/x9 SoC is Qualcomm's VIVE technology, which features MU|EFX, the Qualcomm implementation of the 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO standard that can service up to three devices simultaneously. MU-MIMO, or Multi-User MIMO, is still fairly new to the market, but its use is growing as more vendors are building MU-MIMO into their newer products, possibly pushing SU-MIMO (single-user), an older standard that is limited to servicing one wireless connection at a time, into obscurity.

A third component built into the IPQ40x8/x9 is Qualcomm's Streamboost technology, which helps identify, manage, and allocate application bandwidth consumption in the home. By knowing how to deal with the network traffic's demands, Streamboost can provide a bigger or smaller data pipe to devices such as 4K TVs, computers, gaming consoles and mobile devices, depending on their usage.

The Qualcomm Artheros IPQ40x8/x9 also includes built-in Ethernet and support for dual band transmissions and LTE backhaul.

Lastly, the IPQ40x8/x9's two 2x2 radios will have PHY rates of 1.73 Gbps and are configurable for use as either traditional dual band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) operation or dual 5 GHz mode for single band operations.

Qualcomm Artheros, a Qualcomm Incorporated subsidiary, is currently sampling the IPQ40x8/x9 SoC to its key customers and targeting mass production in Q1 2016.

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  • Achoo22
    802.11AC Wave 2 is a poor idea. It would be much better to call the revised standard 802.11AD or something.
  • Robert Dunlop
    So the name is a poor idea not the product.
  • Geoff5093
    802.11ad is already a standard...
  • SteelCity1981
    why didn't they just call it 802.11AC v2 or 2.0