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.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Molly Mulloy

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