Quantenna Communications has already made its mark in the evolving gigabit Wi-Fi market by getting its 802.11ac technology into world’s fastest commercial Wi-Fi access point, but now it’s preparing to raise the bar again. The wireless networking specialist is preparing a Wi-Fi chipset that can support 10 Gbps of capacity by using a boatload of antennas.
That’s eight antennas, to be exact. Quantenna is pushing the limits of the next wave of the 802.11ac networking standard. Wave 2’s multi-user multiple input-multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology also went into Asus’s new 1.7 Gbps router, but Quantenna’s next-generation chip will double the amount of spatial streams used to transmit data from four to eight as well as use several other techniques to boost capacity more than four-fold, Quantenna said.
I wrote capacity, not speed, because no consumer device has — nor likely will ever will have — the eight-antenna configuration necessary to grab every spatial stream transmitted by such a router. Also, a lot of 802.11ac’s promised power depends on your router being able to tap vast swaths of unlicensed airwaves, which aren’t available in all places. (In the U.S., though, the government is starting to open up more spectrum for Wi-Fi.)