Qualcomm Eyes Wireless HD Streaming with 600 Mbps Wi-Fi

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Communications chip maker Qualcomm is looking to leave all other 802.11n high-bandwidth Wi-Fi solutions in the dust, announcing it has created a new Wi-Fi chip—the N-Stream Wireless LAN WCN1320—capable of pushing 600 Mbps. Qualcomm is positioning the chip as idea for whole-house media streaming solutions, noting the system’s bandwidth makes it capable of handling multiple streams of high-definition video, data, and voice traffic without wires.

“Qualcomm’s advanced 4×4 MIMO technology sets a new performance milestone for home media streaming devices,” said Qualcomm’s senior VP Mike Concannon, in a statement. “Our N-Stream solution delivers a new level of performance and range, enabling next-generation whole-house wireless LAN coverage.”

Samples of the chip will be available to gear makers later this month, although Qualcomm hasn’t announced when it plans to ramp up production of the technology.

The chip works using a four-radio, dual-band, four-by-four MIMO (multiple-output) antenna array, on principals similar to the two-radio dual-band 802.11n solutions on the market now, and is likely built on MIMO technology Qualcomm acquired with Airgo a few years ago. In theory, the four-radio solution is capable of raw bandwidth of 600 Mbps, although in practice the figure will be substantially lower—but still offering more bandwidth than anything on the market today.

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