Quantenna has announced a major move with the introduction of the first chip which supports 802.11ax, the next-gen Wi-Fi standard (which is still in draft form).
802.11ax turns things up a number of notches from the Wi-Fi speeds we currently have with 802.11ac, and the former has been shown to boast 10Gbps speeds operating in the 5GHz band for blazing fast wireless connections.
While the world of Wi-Fi is somewhat confusing with various different standards (such as 802.11ad or WiGig – we discuss all the differences in our in-depth making sense of Wi-Fi feature), 802.11ax is the standard which will push your router onwards and upwards to far greater speeds, and Quantenna is the first to market with an ‘ax’ chip.
The QSR10G-AX is aimed at wireless access points and repeaters, and will be a drop-in replacement for Quantenna's previous QSR10G chip.
In total, the company says the new QSR10G-AX will support 12 streams – eight of those in the 5GHz band and four in the 2.4GHz band. Not only does this mean superfast wireless speeds as we already mentioned, but the ability to support more devices.
Quantenna notes that the chip makes use of downlink and uplink OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access), allowing multiple devices to be simultaneously catered for, and better network performance in dense environments (where there’s lots of traffic) such as offices or apartment blocks.
Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, commented: “This technology [the QSR10G-AX], which incorporates the 802.11ax protocol, is a leap forward for Wi-Fi through the access technique of OFDMA. The more flexible, efficient, and adaptive use of the Wi-Fi spectrum enabled by OFDMA will increase the data rates of the QSR10G-AX over current products, while also supporting in a reliable and scalable manner the growth of client devices in dense deployments.”
She concluded: “The transformative technology of the QSR10G-AX will be beneficial for high-performance Wi-Fi devices as well as emerging applications in the IoT."
Sample chips will be shipping out to Quantenna’s partners early next year, so work will subsequently start on the first 802.11ax products.
As to the timeline of when you might get this much faster Wi-Fi standard in your router, ABI Research has previously forecast that 802.11ax will account for almost 60% of Wi-Fi chipsets by the time 2021 arrives. And that reality just moved closer with the launch of this new chipset.