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Wi-Fi Blasts Ahead with 11ac Wave 2 Chipsets

  • November 2014
  • 132 pages
  • EJL Wireless Research LLC
Report ID: 2514971

Summary

Table of Contents

This report provides a comprehensive technical analysis for 802.11ac wave 2 (W2) technology as compared with wave 1 (W1) technology and 802.11n. A detailed access point semiconductor chipset analysis is provided for all vendors.

Features

Detailed analysis of 802.11ac standards
Detailed 802.11ac WiFi access point system block diagrams
Top 9 access point chipset vendor analysis
Broadcom Corporation
Celeno Communications
Intel Corporation
Marvell Technology
MediaTek Inc.
Qualcomm Technology
Quantenna Communications
Realtek Semiconductor
Redpine Signals

Over the next six months, Access Point OEMs (enterprise, carrier and consumer home gateway) will be faced with making a strategic chipset supplier decision for their IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 products. This EJL Wireless Research Report is intended to facilitate that critical decision-making process with the latest detailed information on the leading 802.11ac radios and Wi-Fi networking processors.
This report is also intended to provide detailed analysis designed to assist wireless network professionals in anticipating and planning for the next generation of 802.11ac Wave 2 compliant multi-gigabit Wi-Fi technology and capability, at both the chipset level and the system (i.e., infrastructure WLAN equipment) level. From a technology business perspective, understanding 802.11ac future trends is vitally important, as approximately 1 billion 11ac devices will be in use by the end of 2015.

Promise of Gigabit Wi-Fi

Consumer client devices and access points (both consumer broadband gateways and enterprise-class / carrier-class) using 11ac Wave 2 technology promise nearly instantaneous (very low latency) data transfers with high Quality of Experience / Quality of Service. They will be capable of supporting multiple ultra high definition streaming video flows, including UHD “telepresence” video conferencing flows, as well as hundreds of clients per AP. Additionally, 11ac Wave 2 client devices and access points will offer increasingly robust and comprehensive wireless plus wired security as well as content-aware traffic engineering features. This report will enable networking professionals to anticipate these new capabilities as well as potential 11ac Wave 2 deployment challenges.

Complex System Design Risks

Semiconductor companies who can supply both Wi-Fi radios and companion digital System-on-Chip (SoC) processors plus the software and system reference designs are at an enormous advantage over microchip companies who can only supply the digital SoC processor. Wi-Fi systems, such as access points and wireless broadband gateways, are extremely complex hardware (requiring digital, RF and mixed-signal integrated circuits) and embedded software systems. The overwhelming majority of WLAN equipment OEMs are uninterested in attempting to integrate these complex systems using radios and processors from different suppliers.

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