Quantenna Communications has introduced what it claims is the industry's first 802.11ax Wi-Fi product - the QSR10G-AX. The product is built on Quantenna's QSR10G Wave 3 Wi-Fi platform and adds support for the draft 1.0 of the IEEE specification 802.11ax standard.
802.11ax will be the next Wi-Fi standard following on from the current 802.11ac. It is designed for high density environments potentially providing not only four or five times the speed of 802.11ac, but a greater ability to handle interference and so maintain a good quality user experience. In short, it can support more simultaneous clients.
All of these improvements are helpful for businesses, public venues, and also in homes where the number of clients continues to grow due to the proliferation of mobile and Internet of Things devices.
The QSR10G-AX solution will support 12 total streams: 8 streams in the 5GHz band and 4 streams in the 2.4GHz band. QSR10G-AX adds support for downlink and uplink OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access), providing superior network efficiency in dense environments, as well as high uplink performance.
OFDMA dedicates different sub-carriers for individual client devices. This allows multiple devices to be simultaneously served.
QSR10G-AX is designed to enable a very easy and fast transition for existing QSR10G customers. The QSR10G-AX chipset is pin-to-pin compatible with QSR10G, Quantenna's Wave 3 12-stream dual-band 802.11ac and 802.11n access point solution. As a result, customers designing with QSR10G solution will be able to drop in the new QSR10G-AX solution, the company said.
"Innovation is what drives us at Quantenna," said Dr. Sam Heidari, chairman and CEO at Quantenna. "We were the first company to deliver 4x4 802.11n, 4x4 802.11ac and 8x8 802.11ac. Now, we are proud to continue our Wi-Fi industry leadership by being the first to announce an 802.11ax compliant solution."
The solution relies on Cavium's OCTEON III CN7xxx processor family. Venkat Sundaresan, Director of Product Management at Cavium, said: "Quantenna is launching another leading-edge Wi-Fi solution to the market. 802.11ax represents the next evolution of Wi-Fi and increases throughput and capacity needs for our end markets. This innovative access technology will allow our powerful processor solutions to deliver new levels of performance, scalability and capacity."
Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, commented: "This technology, which incorporates the 802.11ax protocol, is a leap forward for Wi-Fi through the access technique of OFDMA.
“The more flexible, efficient, and adaptive use of the Wi-Fi spectrum enabled by OFDMA will increase the data rates of the QSR10G-AX over current products, while also supporting in a reliable and scalable manner the growth of client devices in dense deployments. The transformative technology of the QSR10G-AX will be beneficial for high-performance Wi-Fi devices as well as emerging applications in the IoT."
Key QSR10G-AX planned features and benefits:
• Integrated AP chipset for dual-band (5GHz and 2.4GHz), dual concurrent operation and management
• Pin-to-Pin compatibility with QSR10G
• 802.11ax Draft 1.0 compliant
• 12-stream operation
• Supports rich set of interfaces to external hosts such as PCIe Gen3/Gen2, RXAUI, RGMII, and others
• Support 2.4GHz coexistence interface
• Enable full offload for external host
• Cloud managed.
Quantenna's QSR10G-AX is expected to sample to early access partners in the early part of 2017.