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Samsung Claims to Have Created 4.6Gbps 60GHz Wireless

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One of the biggest issues with wireless is that you never really get the speeds you are promised. Right now the maximum theoretical speed you can get in consumer wireless is about 1.3Gbps. This is assuming you are running the right router and wireless adapter which means that both have to support three antenna as well as the full 802.11ac spec. To be perfectly honest with you that is not likely to happen in the real world as most wireless adapters do not support AC1300 (full 1.3Gbps). Instead you end up getting AC800-900 with the rare AC1200 popping up now and then. Even if you have both ends at AC1300 you are still not likely to see the nirvana of 1.3Gbps wireless.

The reasons that this is the case are varied and include everything from CPU, memory and HDD (SSD) speeds before you even get to wireless signal issues. Once you hit the actual signal things get even more complicated. To give you an abbreviated list of things that can cause performance issues on the wireless side we start off with power, antenna tuning, penetration, channel interference, saturation (too many people using that channel), and so on. In many places the simple fact that there are too many other wireless devices using the same exact channel can kill performance even when you are in close proximity to the access point. The same can be said for transmission power. Too much and you are going to drown out anyone trying to connect, and too little is sort of self-explanatory.

So what is the answer to a better wireless environment? Samsung thinks they might have an answer. For the past couple of years they have been working on what they are calling 802.11ad wireless. This is wireless send over a 60GHz channel that (according to Samsung) removes many of the common obstacles to wireless connectivity and performance. If Samsung’s claims hold true then we could see wireless running at 4.6Gbps consistently.

One of the biggest items that Samsung says they have overcome is the problem of channel saturation and overlap. As we mentioned having too many access points or devices all running on the same channel is a problem, removing this will help to maintain consistent data throughput by not having to retransmit any packets. Even if this is the only thing that Samsung fixes it would be an amazing change in the way we think about wireless. However, there is more to the new solution than just removing channel saturation. Samsung also says they have fixed issues with penetration and path loss by changing the way access points and adapters talk to each other. The changes include everything from the radios, to the way the waves are transmitted (wide coverage beam forming antenna).

It will take a while for the consumer to see the benefits of this breakthrough and it will not fix all of the problems associated with wireless or network speeds. Even when this technology hits the streets there will still be people that will not see the full 4.6Gbps simply because their system is not capable of using all of that bandwidth. Still it will be nice to know that it is there.

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Last modified on Monday, 13 October 2014 10:37
Sean Kalinich

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