Xirrus has launched its first 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access point (AP) – the Xtreme Density 2 (XD2). Wave 2 is the second iteration of the latest Wi-Fi standard - 802.11ac, which brings enhanced capabilities compared with the previous 802.11n standard and Wave 1 802.11ac products. Xirrus is also introducing Wave 2 upgrade modules for its existing XR family of APs.
Compared with 802.11n, 802.11ac products offer 80MHz channel bandwidth (vs 40MHz) and with Wave 2 this can be expanded to 160MHz. It can support up to eight spatial streams (vs four with 11n) and the downlink multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) capability of Wave 2 enables the AP to support up to four simultaneous devices. Performance is enhanced by having a higher density modulation of up to 256-QAM, as opposed to 64-QAM with 802.11n.
Ruckus, Aruba and Cisco have also released 802.11ac Wave 2 products this year, but Xirrus claims that the difference with its XD2 product is that it is ‘the first AP in the market to deliver all the benefits of Wave 2’.
These benefits include:
- Two Wave 2 radios per AP, each capable of up to 3.47 Gbps (3x faster than Wave 1)
- Double the speed of competitive Wave 2 solutions with 7 Gbps per AP
- Four-stream multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) compared with three-stream MU-MIMO supported by other solutions
- The only customisable AP with the ability to enable both radios to Wave 2 with the click of a mouse
- Bluetooth low energy (BLE) enabled for location based services
- 160 MHz Bonded Channels, where competitors only achieve 80MHz.
This is because the Xirrus AP can include two Wave 2 radios, while its rivals’ APs feature only one, and this makes all the difference, according to Bruce Miller, vice president of product marketing, Xirrus. “Until the XD2, all Wave 2 Wi-Fi solutions introduced to the market to date have been effectively ‘Wave 1.5’ because they do not fully support the MU-MIMO standard.
“Customers should steer clear of Wave 1.5 solutions and verify they are getting Wave 2 technology in order to deploy the fastest solution available and achieve the best return on their investment,” Miller claimed.
“The ability to transmit to multiple users at the same time, also known as multi-user MIMO, is one of the key technology advancements in 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points and will enable significantly higher wireless throughput,” said Matthias Machowinski, research director of enterprise networking at IHS.
“By implementing a second 802.11ac radio, Xirrus’ Wave 2 solution can serve twice the number of concurrent users per access point, lending itself well to addressing wireless network growth as clients migrate to Wave 2 over time.”
Xirrus argues that with the advent of XD2, customers can now easily scale their Wi-Fi networks to provide the speed and performance required to deliver an exceptional user experience, as well as protect their investment with the ‘only customisable solution in the market’.
Xirrus Wave 2 solutions integrate a set of network services designed to optimise the user experience and ensure enterprise-grade wireless reliability, including:
• Application Control: Integrated application visibility and control directly in each AP to prioritise business-critical applications and ensure predictable performance
• TurboXpress: Software customisable radios that support all Wi-Fi modes and bands for instant adaptation to a changing Wi-Fi user base
• acXpress: Automatically segment high-speed 11ac clients from low-speed clients to optimise performance for all.
To learn more about XD2 Wi-Fi and the XR Wave 2 Upgrade Module, visit:
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