updated 05:00 am EST, Thu February 23, 2012
Qualcomm Atheros whets appetite with 802.11ac
Qualcomm Atheros has announced its plans for a full product ecosystem to support Wi-Fi 802.11ac, the gigabit successor to 802.11n. Heading the lineup is its new WCN3680 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM module that OEM's can pair with devices shipping with Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon S4 dual- and quad-core mobile processors. The new Wi-Fi standard can achieve speeds of up to 433Mbps in mobile phones, and up 1.3Gbps in tablets and PCs. This snap-in module will sit alongside the already built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n capabilities of the S4 SoC, offering users compatibility with both the older standards and the latest simultaneously.
Qualcomm Atheros also lifted the lid on its 802.11ac support for computers, including 1-,2- and 3-stream 802.11ac solutions offering speeds of up to 1.3Gbps over a wireless connection. This particular wireless module arrangement is designed for use in the next generation of tablets. Qualcomm Atheros also sees PC manufacturers using the same technology in netbooks shipping could ship with a Snapdragon S4 processor.
Qualcomm Atheros' product announcements surrounding 802.11ac include its introduction of an 802.11ac module that will snap into a Snapdragon media processor. The company sees this SoC solution being applied in consumer electronics products including smart TVs, gaming systems and streaming media devices. Wi-Fi performance can again be expected reach up to 1.3Gbps.
Rounding out its announcements today, the company also unveiled its 2- and 3-stream, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi to PCIe single-chip radios for home and enterprise network access equipment. These designs will tie together its 802.11ac SoC solutions with chipsets for use in next-gen dual-band wireless access points, routers and gateways.
Qualcomm Atheros will be displaying its latest generation wireless solutions at the World Mobile Congress starting next week, with samples shipping to OEMs in Q2.