2012 may be early deployments of zippy new WiFi standard

22nd October 2009
2012 may be early deployments of zippy  new WiFi standard
Broadcom's Rahul Patel in Bangalore, December 2011 ( IndiaTechOnline photo)

Bangalore, January 1 2012: A new wireless networking ( WiFi) standard -- 802.11ac-- that is four times faster than the fastest today ( 802.11n), may see rollouts in 2012, ahead of its formal green lighting by the standards bodies IEEE and WiFi Alliance. Indications are, wireless component manufacturers and device developers may unveil products in early 2012, well ahead of any formal ratification – such is market impatience to exploit this zippy new technology that is expected to force a sea change in the streaming of high quality video and the shifting of what is being called Big Data.

In a special briefing for technology media in Bangalore, Rahul Patel, Vice President ( Wireless LAN connectivity Business) at the Sunnyvale, (California, US) headquarters of global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, Broadcom, pointed out that even at the initially attainable data speeds of around 1.8 GBPS, which was well short 802.11ac’s theoretical tops -- 3.6 GBPS – wireless networking speeds would have matched and overtaken wired gigabit ethernet speeds for the first time. This in turn would open up new markets in wireless video conferencing

In fact, says a Wikipedia resource, 802.11ac opens up new WLAN usage scenarios, such as simultaneous streaming of HD video to multiple clients throughout the home, rapid synchronization and backup of large data files, wireless display, large campus/auditorium deployments, and manufacturing floor automation.

Patel anticipates that 11ac together with Near Field Communication (NFC) will turn out to be killer combo, fathering many customer-friendly applications. By 2014, when ac can be expected to become mainstream, the majority of WiFi chips can be expected to upgrade to the 11ac standard he added.

Rajiv Kapur, Managing Director of Broadcom India, said the company saw a global demand for over 2 billion WiFi chips by 2015 – a projection supported by recent studies by ABI Research. The acquisition last year of the largely Indian IP-driven Beceem Communications and access to its India team of developers, had strengthened Broadcom’s technology muscle in the 4G communication products space and was helping drive its own initiatives in leveraging the new WiFi standard.

With another extension to WiFi -- WiFi Direct -- poised to enable direct device-to-device connectivity  in a  big way, 2012 promises to be a 'happening' time for wireless connectivity in 2012! - Anand Parthasarathy

Tech Note: IEEE 802.11ac is a wireless computer networking standard of 802.11 currently under development which will provide high throughput Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) below 6 GHz (what is commonly known as the 5 GHz band). Theoretically, this specification will enable multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 Gigabit per second and a maximum single link throughput of at least 500 megabit per second (500 Mbit/s). This is accomplished by extending the air interface concepts embraced by802.11n: wider RF bandwidth (up to 160 MHz), more MIMO spatial streams (up to 8), multi-user MIMO, and high-density modulation (up to 256 QAM). The single-link and multi-station enhancements supported by 802.11ac enable several http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac   

See our feature on WiFi Direct: http://www.indiatechonline.com/wi-fi-direct-118.php