Broadcom and Qualcomm Atheros are developing a new WiFi 802.11ac will supersede the current 802.11n standard at the end of 2012, according to PC World.
802.11ac will operatie solely on the 5GHz spectrum, whereas current WiFi-n can utilise either 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency bands. 2.4GHz WiFI gives better range but a variety of devices already operate at that frequency, including microwaves and Bluetooth headsets. These other devices can cause interference to 2.4GHz reception.
Developers will enforce beam-forming technology as part of the new standard to conform with the shorter range of the 5GHz band, which means transmitters and receivers must formulate an awareness of one another so that beams can be directly aimed at specific devices. Each 5GHz channel is 80MHz wide, as opposed to the 40MHz channels on 802.11n, allowing more information to be transmitted across a connection.
A modulation scheme will quadruple the amount of data transmitted on each carrier signal, all of which totals up to a max bandwidth of 433MB/s for each spatial stream, as compared with 150MB/s on WiFi-n. And the number of possible simultaneous spatial streams will be boosted from three to eight.
Early adopter manufacturers will be limited to a maximum of three send and receive antennas, giving bandwidth of ‘just’ 1.3GB/s, at least on paper, though real-world user experience should be around 30-50% of that level, still far in excess of any WiFi standard currently available. Routers and devices should both be available this summer
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