OnQ Blog

Bringing 11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO to mainstream smart gateways

Oct 22, 2015

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

How do you up the game when you’re seeing strong traction for your technology—Qualcomm VIVE featuring Qualcomm MU|EFX MU-MIMO in this case. You design solutions that accelerate the pace of making the technology mainstream. That’s exactly what we did at Qualcomm Atheros. On Tuesday we announced our second-generation smart gateway solutionthe Qualcomm Internet Processor (IPQ) 40x8/9—in time for the start of the broadband industry’s marquee event, Broadband World Forum 2015.

The strong growth of MU-MIMO continues, with the recent announcements of devices such as the Nexus 5X from Google, Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL, and HTC One A9, adding to the long list of access points, mobile devices, and laptops available today that support up to triple the Wi-Fi speeds of conventional Wi-Fi technology. ABI Research forecasts that MU-MIMO integrated circuit shipments will surpass 660 million by 2016, and are expected to reach 3.2 billion by 2019.

MU-MIMO is just one of many advanced feature the IPQ 40x8/9 packs inside. For starters, it’s the industry’s first Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi system-on-chip for routers, gateways, and access points. It packs quad-core A7, 2-stream 11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO radios, and a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch in a highly compact form factor. With so much integration, it is one of the most cost-effective solutions for all the capabilities it supports.

Another differentiator for the IPQ40x8/9 is its configuration versatility, which addresses a wide spectrum of deployment scenarios, including:

  • 2-stream 2.4 GHz + 2x2 5 GHz for dual-band dual-concurrent (DBDC) operation
  • Two 2-stream 5 GHz radios in single band simultaneous (SBS) operation
  • Ability to add a third radio, either 2-stream 11ac MU-MIMO or 11ad in 60 GHz

With the introduction of this groundbreaking system-on-chip, Qualcomm Atheros is creating a new level of smart gateway that is cost optimized for OEMs and fully featured for carriers, …… enterprises and retail applications alike.Tony Hsu, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

Its flexibility with radio configuration makes it ideal for range extenders/repeaters as well, in which the spectrum band can be adjusted for optimal performance. For example, the donor band can be 5 GHz to get the capacity, and use the 2.4 GHz band for the service side to extend range. Or both can be 5 GHz, using different parts of the band. Additionally, its ability to use LTE as a backhaul makes it an excellent LTE gateway, especially for areas that don’t have wired broadband access, such as rural environments.

The IPQ’s versatility is not limited to radio configurations, but also expands to a rich mix of interfaces, ranging from USB 3.0 to SD/EMMC, PCIe, LTE, LCD to multi-channel audio, and more.

As you might imagine, with so much versatility, this IPQ solution will support a wide range of use cases, from smart home gateways and IoT to enterprise access points in which the third radio is used as a sniffer or for additional capacity.

To sum it up, our latest IPQ offering is an excellent mix of capability and cost-effectiveness, supporting unprecedented flexibility for OEMs to create superior solutions for their customers.

Qualcomm VIVE, Qualcomm MU|EFX, and Qualcomm Internet Processor are products 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.

Prakash Sangam

Director, Technical Marketing