Practical Technology

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802.11ac: Gigabit Wi-Fi Devices will be shipping in 2012


To network equipment we used to drag yellow cable about the size and flexibility of garden hose through buildings’ plenum spaces. It was an ugly job. It got better. Then, we got wireless networking and setting up networks got much easier. Still, physical networking usually delivered faster speeds than Wi-Fi networking. Now, things are changing. Broadcom is promising us that the first 801.11ac chipsets will bring us Gigabit wireless speeds without any cables at all.

Mind you, 802.11ac is still a standard in the making. Still, that hasn’t stopped Broadcom from announcing that it’s building 802.11ac chipsets, under the trademark name 5G WiFi, that will be “three times faster and up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions.” How fast is that? Rahul Patel, Broadcom’s VP of mobile and wireless, promises that their implementation of 802.11ac will be able to deliver speeds of up to 1.3 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Now, that’s fast!

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