Quantenna is working on WiFi-ac chipset with 8×8 mu-mimo for 10Gbit/s speeds

A relatively young chipset company for wireless network devices, Quantenna, is developing a new architecture for its products that brings WiFi ac chipsets with 8×8 mu-mimo technology within reach. This means that 10 Gbit/s speeds can be achieved.

Multiple manufacturers, including Qualcomm, have recently announced WiFi-ac chipsets with support for multi-user mimo technology with support for 4×4 streams. These are products based on the so-called Wave2 generation of 802.11ac WiFi. Wave2 is an extension to 802.11ac that is not expected to be certified until 2015 or 2016 and will bring a number of other improvements in addition to mu-mimo.

Wave2 routers could eventually get 8×8 antenna and stream setups, and Quantenna is the first company to announce chipsets working in this area. At CES 2014, this company was already the first to demonstrate a 4×4 mu-mimo router. Quantenna is a relatively young company that competes with powerhouses such as Qualcomm and Broadcom and focuses on the high-end.

Mu-mino works with beamforming to bring multiple streams to different receivers simultaneously, on a single channel. With an 8×8 router, for example, two laptops with a 4×4 network card can be operated. With Wave2, the bandwidth per channel has also been increased from 80MHz to 160MHz. The current Wave2 implementation of 802.11ac still offers configurations for up to three streams and support for 80MHz channels.

The first products with 4×4 mu-mimo technology are expected by the end of this year, which will bring gross throughputs up to 1.73Gbit/s. When using wider channels of 160MHz, this speed should be increased to 3.5Gbit/s. In 2015, Quantenna’s 8×8 architecture should end up in routers and enable 10Gbit/s speeds. It will probably initially be routers for the enterprise market.