The new Atheros chipset series will support the IEEE 802.11ac standard promises 6.9 gigabytes per second (Gbps) data transfer speed that will be used smartphones, computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, smart TV, gateways and enterprise access points and home routers.
Qualcomm on their press release said that their products will expands performance and coverage to enable users in experience HD video-grade connectivity across increasingly crowded networks. It will be able to support a number of devices and bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications that placed greater demands on wireless networks that supports the newest
Craig Baratt, Qualcomm Atheros president said that the Qualcomm Atheros will enable a client-to-infrastructure 802.11ac ecosystem by combining its Wifi expertise across virtually all segments with Qualcomm’s position in mobile channels. It will also enable client devices, such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, with easy migration from 802.11n to 802.11ac.
Baratt added that their products will pave the way for rapid adoption of products based on the new Wi-Fi standard and will enable the wireless industry for a smooth, full-scale transition to Gigabit-capable Wi-Fi networking within the next two years.
Todd Antes, Qualcomm Atheros VP of product management said in an interview with SlashGear that Qualcomm is targeting all three of the major electronics markets: mobile, computing and networking.
Antes furthered that the 802.11ac uses the 5GHz band for increased capacity, and can combine up to eight streams simultaneously for the fastest performance. Only the most advanced versions will see 6.9Gbps-style rates, with 3.5Gbps perhaps more likely as the theoretical maximum for the home. Later, though, will come Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) in early 2014, increasing speeds further as well as ensuring that devices even at the outskirts of range will get higher rates: typically 2-3x what you would get in the same situation with 11n.
Qualcomm Atheros’ first product will be the WCN3680 module, a mobile 1×1 802.11ac combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip that is the connectivity companion to the Qualcomm 28nm Snapdragon family of processors used on tablet PCs and smartphones. It will be integrated Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor featuring a dual-core Krait CPU and the S4 APQ8064 processor featuring a quad-core Krait CPU.
Users will be able to enjoy the features that the chip offers such as high throughput for fast data transfer and low power consumption, enabling longer battery life and superior performance for demanding applications. It will support various operating systems such as Windows and Android.
CNET reported that the new chipsets will share the common 802.11ac standard, Qualcomm’s new chips offer up to the top speed of 1.3Gbps (three-stream), 900Mbps (dual-stream), and 450Mbps (single-stream). Basically, the new Wi-Fi standard will offer comparable performance to Gigabit Ethernet, and even faster in some instances, so wireless networking will no longer be a compromise.
Single-stream is best suited for mobile devices since it uses the least energy. For this, Qualcomm offers the WCN3680 chip, which combines 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth and FM radio. The company says the chip will work well with its 28nm Snapdragon family of processors, and will be integrated with the dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 and the quad-core S4 APQ8064 CPUs.
The Qualcomm Atheros 802.11ac chips for computing are highly integrated to enable the smallest, thinnest notebooks with support for leading operating systems. The chips also support Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Display for full peer-to-peer functionality, the company added.
802.11ac standard hardware is still in development and is yet to be introduced to the market however. According to SlashGear Wifi Alliance will approve the new standard on 2013. Product certification of the first products will be around February while devices using draft 11ac spec could arrive as early as the second half of 2012.
Until all hardware is brought up to speed with 802.11ac, there’ll be a speed impact if you’re using legacy b/g/n kit. 11ac routers will use a “round robin” distribution method in that case, rapidly connecting and disconnecting with each client in turn, and negotiation the fastest possible speeds each of those clients can support. However, true 11ac supports concurrent operations for a big uptick in rates, Slashgear adds.
Gizmodo adds that the introduction of gigabit-capable 802.11ac chips will give some breathing room for network performance in the middle of competition on bandwidth, streaming media for most every piece of modern electronics has a wireless-connectivity option—TV’s, alarm clocks, refrigerators, even thermostats.
Earlier, another company Broadcom also releases its first family of 802.11ac (also known as 5G Wi-Fi) chips, designed for a broad range of product segments according to a report from CNET.