IEEE 802.11ac

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IEEE 802.11ac is a wireless networking standard in the 802.11 family (which is marketed under the brand name Wi-Fi), developed in the IEEE Standards Association process,[1] providing high-throughput wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the 5 GHz band.[1] The standard was developed from 2011 through 2013 and approved in January 2014.[1][2] According to a study, devices with the 802.11ac specification are expected to be common by 2015 with an estimated one billion spread around the world.[3]

This specification has expected multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second and a single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s). This is accomplished by extending the air interface concepts embraced by 802.11n: wider RF bandwidth (up to 160 MHz), more MIMO spatial streams (up to eight), downlink multi-user MIMO (up to four clients), and high-density modulation (up to 256-QAM).[4][5]

New technologies[edit]

New technologies introduced with 802.11ac include the following:[5]

Meru Networks has suggested that 802.11ac makes a wireless network employing the Single Channel Architecture substantially more effective.[6] Traditional 802.11 networks are deployed as a Multiple Channel Architecture

Mandatory and optional features[edit]

New scenarios and configurations[edit]

The single-link and multi-station enhancements supported by 802.11ac enable several new WLAN usage scenarios, such as simultaneous streaming of HD video to multiple clients throughout the home, rapid synchronization and backup of large data files, wireless display, large campus/auditorium deployments, and manufacturing floor automation.[7]

With the inclusion of USB 3.0 interface, 802.11ac access points and routers can use locally attached storage to provide various services that fully utilize their WLAN capacities, such as video streaming, FTP servers, and personal cloud services.[8] With storage locally attached through USB 2.0, filling the bandwidth made available by 802.11ac was not easily doable.

Example configurations[edit]

All rates assume 256-QAM, rate 5/6:

ScenarioTypical Client
Form Factor
PHY Link RateAggregate
Capacity
(Speed)
1-antenna AP, 1-antenna STA, 80 MHzHandheld433 Mbit/s433 Mbit/s
2-antenna AP, 2-antenna STA, 80 MHzTablet, Laptop867 Mbit/s867 Mbit/s
1-antenna AP, 1-antenna STA, 160 MHzHandheld867 Mbit/s867 Mbit/s
2-antenna AP, 2-antenna STA, 160 MHzTablet, Laptop1.69 Gbit/s1.69 Gbit/s
4-antenna AP, four 1-antenna STAs, 160 MHz
(MU-MIMO)
Handheld867 Mbit/s to each STA3.39 Gbit/s
8-antenna AP, 160 MHz (MU-MIMO)
-- one 4-antenna STA
-- one 2-antenna STA
-- two 1-antenna STAs
Digital TV, Set-top Box,
Tablet, Laptop, PC, Handheld
3.39 Gbit/s to 4-antenna STA
1.69 Gbit/s to 2-antenna STA
867 Mbit/s to each 1-antenna STA
6.77 Gbit/s
8-antenna AP, four 2-antenna STAs, 160 MHz
(MU-MIMO)
Digital TV, Tablet, Laptop, PC1.69 Gbit/s to each STA6.77 Gbit/s

Data rates and speed[edit]

Theoretical[edit]

Theoretical throughput for single Spatial Stream (in Mbit/s)
MCS
index
Modulation
type
Coding
rate
20 MHz channels40 MHz channels80 MHz channels160 MHz channels
800 ns GI400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI
0BPSK1/26.57.213.51529.332.558.565
1QPSK1/21314.4273058.565117130
2QPSK3/419.521.740.54587.897.5175.5195
316-QAM1/22628.95460117130234260
416-QAM3/43943.38190175.5195351390
564-QAM2/35257.8108120234260468520
664-QAM3/458.565121.5135263.3292.5526.5585
764-QAM5/66572.2135150292.5325585650
8256-QAM3/47886.7162180351390702780
9256-QAM5/6N/AN/A180200390433.3780866.7

Note: A second stream doubles the theoretical data rate, a 3rd 3x, etc. Note: MCS 9 is not applicable to all channel width/spatial stream combinations

Advertised[edit]

Type2.4 GHz Mbit/s[A]5 GHz Mbit/s
AC600150433
AC750300450
AC1200300867
AC1300400867
AC1450450975
AC16003001,300
AC17504501,300
AC1900600[B]1,300
AC2350600[B]1,733
AC3200600[B]2,600
A.1 802.11ac only specifies operation in the 5 GHz band. Operation in the 2.4 GHz band is specified by 802.11n.
B.1 2 3 600 Mbit/s is only possible with proprietary extensions to 802.11n that enable 256QAM in the 2.4 GHz band.

Products[edit]

Commercial routers[edit]

Quantenna released the first 802.11ac chipset for retail Wi-Fi routers and consumer electronics on November 15, 2011.[9] Redpine Signals released the first low power 802.11ac technology for smartphone application processors on December 14, 2011.[10] On January 5, 2012, Broadcom announced its first 802.11ac Wi-Fi chips and partners[11] and on April 27, 2012, Netgear announced the first Broadcom-enabled router.[12] On May 14, 2012, Buffalo Technology released the world’s first 802.11ac products to market, releasing a wireless router and client bridge adapter.[13]

Apple Inc. is selling 802.11ac versions of its AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule products.[14] Motorola Solutions is selling 802.11ac access points including the AP 8232.[15] In April 2014, Hewlett-Packard started selling the HP 560 access point in the controller-based WLAN enterprise market segment.[16]

Commercial laptops[edit]

On June 7, 2012, it was reported that ASUS had unveiled its ROG G75VX gaming notebook, which will be the first consumer-oriented notebook to be fully compliant with 802.11ac[17] (albeit in its "draft 2.0" version).

Hewlett-Packard as of December 2013 incorporates 802.11ac compliance in laptop computers.[18]

Apple announced in June 2013 that the new MacBook Air features 802.11ac wireless networking capabilities,[19][20] later announcing in October 2013 that the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro also featured 802.11ac.[21][22]

Commercial handsets[edit]

VendorModelRelease DateChipsetNotes
HTCOne (2013)March 2013[23]BCM4335 [24]First 802.11ac-enabled handset announced February 19, 2013[25]
SamsungGalaxy S4April 26, 2013BCM4335 [26]
SamsungGalaxy Note 3September 25, 2013BCM4339 [27]Subsequent Devices Include 802.11ac
LGLG Nexus 5October 2013[28]BCM4339 [29]BCM4339 is the updated version of the BCM4335
NokiaLumia IconFebruary 20, 2014[30]WCN3680First 802.11ac-enabled Windows Phone
HTCOne (M8)March 25, 2014WCN3680 [31]
SamsungGalaxy S5April 11, 2014BCM4354
LGG3May 23, 2014BCM4339 [32]
Amazon.comFire PhoneJuly 25, 2014 [33]WCN3680 [34]

Chipsets[edit]

VendorPart #StreamsLDPCTxBF256-QAMApplications
BroadcomBCM436023YesYesYesrouters, laptops
BroadcomBCM43603YesYesYesrouters, laptops
BroadcomBCM435692YesYesYesDTV
BroadcomBCM43522YesYesYestablets
BroadcomBCM43502YesYesYestablets
BroadcomBCM43562YesYesYeshandsets, tablets
BroadcomBCM43542YesYesYeshandsets, tablets
BroadcomBCM43391YesYesYeshandsets
BroadcomBCM43351YesYesYeshandsets
Intel7260 AC2NoYes?laptops, desktops
Intel3160 AC1NoYes?laptops
MarvellAvastar 88W88972YesYesYestablets
MarvellAvastar 88W88643YesYesYesrouters
QualcommWCN36801YesYesYeshandsets
QualcommQCA98622YesNoYestablets
QualcommQCA98803YesNoYesrouters
MediaTekMT76101???PC (PCIe or USB)
MediaTekMT76501?YesYeshandsets
MediaTekMT7612E2YesYesYeslaptops (PCIe 2.0)
MediaTekMT7612U2YesYesYeslaptops (USB 3.0)
QuantennaQAC23004YesYesYesrouters
Redpine SignalsRS91171Yes?Yeshandsets
Redpine SignalsRS93333Yes?Yesrouters
RealtekRTL8811AU1???adapter (USB 2.0)
RealtekRTL8812AU2???adapter (USB 3.0)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Official IEEE 802.11 Working Group Project Timelines". 2012-11-03. 
  2. ^ Kelly, Vivian (2014-01-07). "New IEEE 802.11ac™ Specification Driven by Evolving Market Need for Higher, Multi-User Throughput in Wireless LANs". IEEE. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  3. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2011-02-08). "Study: Expect a billion 802.11ac Wi-Fi devices in 2015". Cnet. 
  4. ^ Kassner, Michael (2013-06-18). "Cheat sheet: What you need to know about 802.11ac". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  5. ^ a b "802.11ac: A Survival Guide". Chimera.labs.oreilly.com. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Can Single Channel Really Work?". Blog.merunetworks.com. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  7. ^ de Vegt, Rolf (2008-11-10). "802.11ac Usage Models Document". 
  8. ^ "ASUS RT-AC56U & USB-AC56 802.11AC Review". Hardwarecanucks.com. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  9. ^ "Quantenna Launches World's First 802.11ac Gigabit-Wireless Solution for Retail Wi-Fi Routers and Consumer Electronics" (Press release). Quantenna. 2011-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Redpine Signals Releases First Ultra Low Power 802.11ac Technology for Smartphone Application Processors" (Press release). Redpine Signals. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  11. ^ "Broadcom Launches First Gigabit Speed 802.11ac Chips - Opens 2012 CES with 5th Generation (5G) Wi-Fi Breakthrough" (Press release). Broadcom. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  12. ^ Netgear's R6300 router is first to use Broadcom 802.11ac chipset, will ship next month for $200
  13. ^ "Buffalo's 802.11ac Wireless Solutions Available Now" (Press release). Austin, Texas: Buffalo Technology (via PRNewswire). May 14, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  14. ^ Apple - Mac - Airport Express
  15. ^ AP 8232 Modular 802.11n Access Point - Motorola Solutions USA
  16. ^ "HP Launches the HP 560 802.11ac Access Point". HP. 2014-03-31. 
  17. ^ "Asus gaming notebook first to feature full 802.11ac". Electronista. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  18. ^ "HP ENVY TouchSmart 17-j043cl Notebook PC Product Specifications HP ENVY TouchSmart 17-j043cl Notebook PC | HP Support". H10025.www1.hp.com. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  19. ^ "Apple unveils new MacBook Air lineup with all-day battery life, 802.11ac Wi-Fi". AppleInsider. 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  20. ^ Apple - Macbook Air
  21. ^ "MacBook Pro with Retina display - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mac Pro - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "HTC One specs". 
  24. ^ "BCM4335". 
  25. ^ "HTC One specs". 
  26. ^ "BCM4335". 
  27. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review". 
  28. ^ "LG Nexus 5". 
  29. ^ "iFixIt Nexus 5 Teardown". 
  30. ^ "Nokia Lumia Icon". Nokia. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  31. ^ "HTC One(M8) Teardown". 
  32. ^ "LG G3 Teardown". 
  33. ^ "Amazon Fire Phone". 
  34. ^ "Amazon Fire Phone Teardown". 

External links[edit]