OnQ Blog

How Qualcomm connects the MU-MIMO ecosystem

Jun 2, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Do you ever feel frustrated with your video-streaming or Web-browsing speed? Wi-Fi is poised to get faster. One technology that will help make this happen is called MU-MIMO (multiple-user multiple-input multiple-output), and it’s already out in the wild, with a host of compatible devices recently surfacing. The massive Computex trade show is happening this week in Taipei, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is there, demoing its latest Wi-Fi innovations, including some MU-MIMO-compatible devices based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Wi-Fi products from Qualcomm Atheros can potentially triple Wi-Fi speeds for smartphones, tablets and laptops connected to busy networks. How do they do that? Using four antennas and Qualcomm MU | EFX technology (our brand of MU-MIMO), routers can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, rather than one at a time. Think of it as a carpool lane, where several devices can share a ride and speed up traffic for everyone on a busy highway.

Because you need MU-MIMO on both ends of the link, Qualcomm MU | EFX is becoming a standard feature across our family of 11ac Wi-Fi products for network gear, laptops and consumer electronics. This Wi-Fi technology is also built into the latest Snapdragon processors: the premium-tier Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors, as well as the popular Snapdragon 615 and 610 platforms.

The first devices to support MU|EFX were the Xiaomi MiNote and Mi 4i smartphones, Acer Aspire E series laptops, and Linksys MAX-STREAM AC2600 router. But that is just the beginning. Dozens more manufacturers are expected to launch MU-MIMO products, which can bring better Wi-Fi to more people in more places.

So what does all this mean for Wi-Fi users? It’s one thing to have faster Wi-Fi to stream videos at home, but think about the last time you tried to download or send something from a crowded coffee shop or from a concert. Qualcomm MU | EFX is designed to maintain faster connections as Wi-Fi networks become more congested, promising faster, uninterrupted connections even when many people in the vicinity are connected at the same time. And with more of us relying on Wi-Fi at home, at work and everywhere in between, that kind of multi-tasking can make a big difference.

 Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Qualcomm MU|EFX is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.