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Samsung’s 60GHz WiFi tech to bring crazy fast speeds starting next year

Samsung is ready to commercialize wireless technology that can handle transfer speeds of up to 575MB per second. A 1GB movie could be streamed in less than three seconds at this speed.
By
October 13, 2014
wifi

Samsung is ready to commercialize wireless technology that can handle transfer speeds of up to 575MB per second. A 1GB movie could be streamed in less than three seconds at this speed.

Samsung’s technology is based on the 802.11ad (WiGig) WiFi standard, which was finalized in December 2012. 802.11ad uses 60GHz spectrum, in addition to the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands supported by the currently available 802.11ac standard, for theoretical speeds of up to 7Gbps.

Theoretical top speeds are five time faster than 802.11ac
The technology that Samsung announced doesn’t reach the 7Gbps theoretical ceiling of the WiGig standard, but at 4.6Gbps (575MB/s), it’s still crazy fast. Theoretical top speeds are five time faster than 802.11ac, which can handle speeds of up to 866Mbps or 108MB per second. Such breakneck speeds would enable applications like uncompressed video streaming, wireless docking, wireless storage, and much more.

The distinction between theoretical and practical speeds is important, because factors like the layout of the room, the materials the building is made off, the distance between emitter and receptor, and the number of devices on the network can greatly limit real-world transfer speeds.

Due to the characteristics of the 60GHz spectrum, 802.11ad WiFi tech is especially susceptible to path loss, as 60GHz radio waves bounce off walls and other objects, rather than penetrate them. But Samsung claims to have mitigated this “line-of-sight” problem:

Until now, there have been significant challenges in commercially adopting 60GHz Wi-Fi technology , as millimeter waves that travel by line-of-sight has weak penetration properties and is susceptible to path loss, resulting in poor signal and data performance. By leveraging millimeter-wave circuit design and high performance modem technologies and by developing wide-coverage beam-forming antenna, Samsung was able to successfully achieve the highest quality, commercially viable 60GHz Wi-Fi technology.

In an industry first, Samsung developed a micro beam-forming control technology that can adapt to the changing environment in 1/3000 seconds. Moreover, multiple devices can operate side by side without interfering to each other, thanks to the high directionality of beams formed by 60GHz antennae arrays.

Samsung says it will commercialize the new technology from next year, in a wide array of products, including mobile devices. It will take however a few years for the new 802.11ad to become ubiquitous. First deployed on the HTC One (M7) in March 2013, the current best 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac standard is still not available on most mobile devices.

For a deep-dive into the WiFi 802.11ad standard, check this excellent report from Network World.