IEEE 802.11ac

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

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]

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).[3][4]

New technologies[edit]

New technologies introduced with 802.11ac include the following:[4]

Meru Networks has suggested that 802.11ac makes a wireless network employing the Single Channel Architecture substantially more effective.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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
One-antenna AP, one-antenna STA, 80 MHzHandheld433 Mbit/s433 Mbit/s
Two-antenna AP, two-antenna STA, 80 MHzTablet, laptop867 Mbit/s867 Mbit/s
One-antenna AP, one-antenna STA, 160 MHzHandheld867 Mbit/s867 Mbit/s
Two-antenna AP, two-antenna STA, 160 MHzTablet, laptop1.69 Gbit/s1.69 Gbit/s
Four-antenna AP, four one-antenna STAs, 160 MHz
Handheld867 Mbit/s to each STA3.39 Gbit/s
Eight-antenna AP, 160 MHz (MU-MIMO)
  • one four-antenna STA
  • one two-antenna STA
  • two one-antenna STAs
Digital TV, Set-top Box,
Tablet, Laptop, PC, Handheld
  • 3.39 Gbit/s to four-antenna STA
  • 1.69 Gbit/s to two-antenna STA
  • 867 Mbit/s to each one-antenna STA
6.77 Gbit/s
Eight-antenna AP, four 2-antenna STAs, 160 MHz
Digital TV, tablet, laptop, PC1.69 Gbit/s to each STA6.77 Gbit/s

Data rates and speed[edit]


Theoretical throughput for single Spatial Stream (in Mbit/s)[a]
20 MHz channels40 MHz channels80 MHz channels160 MHz channels
800 ns GI[c]400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI800 ns GI400 ns GI


Type2.4 GHz Mbit/s[d]5 GHz Mbit/s


Commercial routers and access points[edit]

Quantenna released the first 802.11ac chipset for retail Wi-Fi routers and consumer electronics on November 15, 2011.[10] Redpine Signals released the first low power 802.11ac technology for smartphone application processors on December 14, 2011.[11] On January 5, 2012, Broadcom announced its first 802.11ac Wi-Fi chips and partners[12] and on April 27, 2012, Netgear announced the first Broadcom-enabled router.[13] On May 14, 2012, Buffalo Technology released the world’s first 802.11ac products to market, releasing a wireless router and client bridge adapter.[14] On December 6, 2012, Huawei announced commercial availability of the industry's first enterprise-level 802.11ac Access Point.[15]

Apple Inc. is selling 802.11ac versions of its AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule products.[16] Motorola Solutions is selling 802.11ac access points including the AP 8232.[17] In April 2014, Hewlett-Packard started selling the HP 560 access point in the controller-based WLAN enterprise market segment.[18]

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[19] (albeit in its "draft 2.0" version).

Hewlett-Packard as of December 2013 incorporates 802.11ac compliance in laptop computers.[20]

Apple announced in June 2013 that the new MacBook Air features 802.11ac wireless networking capabilities,[21][22] later announcing in October 2013 that the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro also featured 802.11ac.[23][24]

Commercial handsets[edit]

Commercial tablets[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ A second stream doubles the theoretical data rate, a third one triples it, etc.
  2. ^ MCS 9 is not applicable to all channel width/spatial stream combinations.
  3. ^ GI stands for the guard interval.
  4. ^ 802.11ac only specifies operation in the 5 GHz band. Operation in the 2.4 GHz band is specified by 802.11n.
  5. ^ a b c With 802.11n, 600 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz band can be achieved by using four spatial streams at 150 Mbit/s each. As of December 2014, commercially available devices that achieve 600 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz band use 3 spatial streams at 200 Mbit/s each.[8][9] This requires the use of 256-QAM modulation, which is not compliant with 802.11n and can be considered a proprietary extension.[9]
  6. ^ As of December 2014, commercially available AC3200 devices use two separate radios with 1,300 Mbit/s each to achieve 2,600 Mbit/s total in the 5 GHz band.


  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. ^ Kassner, Michael (2013-06-18). "Cheat sheet: What you need to know about 802.11ac". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  4. ^ a b "802.11ac: A Survival Guide". Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Can Single Channel Really Work?". 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  6. ^ de Vegt, Rolf (2008-11-10). "802.11ac Usage Models Document". 
  7. ^ "ASUS RT-AC56U & USB-AC56 802.11AC Review". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  8. ^ Ganesh, T S (2014-09-02). "Netgear R7500 Nighthawk X4 Integrates Quantenna 4x4 ac Radio and Qualcomm IPQ8064 SoC". Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  9. ^ a b Higgins, Tim (2013-10-08). "AC1900: Innovation or 3D Wi-Fi?". Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  10. ^ "Quantenna Launches World's First 802.11ac Gigabit-Wireless Solution for Retail Wi-Fi Routers and Consumer Electronics" (Press release). Quantenna. 2011-11-15. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Netgear's R6300 router is first to use Broadcom 802.11ac chipset, will ship next month for $200". Engadget. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Buffalo's 802.11ac Wireless Solutions Available Now" (Press release). Austin, Texas: Buffalo Technology (via PRNewswire). May 14, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  15. ^ "Huawei Announces Commercial Availability of Industry’s First Enterprise-level 802.11ac Access Point". Huawei. 6 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Apple - Mac - Airport Express". Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  17. ^ AP 8232 Modular 802.11n Access Point - Motorola Solutions USA
  18. ^ "HP Launches the HP 560 802.11ac Access Point". HP. 2014-03-31. 
  19. ^ "Asus gaming notebook first to feature full 802.11ac". Electronista. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  20. ^ "HP ENVY TouchSmart 17-j043cl Notebook PC Product Specifications HP ENVY TouchSmart 17-j043cl Notebook PC | HP Support". Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  21. ^ "Apple unveils new MacBook Air lineup with all-day battery life, 802.11ac Wi-Fi". AppleInsider. 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  22. ^ "Apple - Macbook Air". Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "MacBook Pro with Retina display - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Mac Pro - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "HTC One specs". 
  26. ^ "BCM4335". 
  27. ^ "HTC One specs". 
  28. ^ "BCM4335". 
  29. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review". 
  30. ^ "LG Nexus 5". 
  31. ^ "iFixIt Nexus 5 Teardown". 
  32. ^ "Nokia Lumia 1520". Nokia. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  33. ^ "Nokia Lumia Icon". Nokia. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  34. ^ "HTC One(M8) Teardown". 
  35. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "LG G3 Teardown". 
  37. ^ "Amazon Fire Phone". 
  38. ^ "Amazon Fire Phone Teardown". 
  39. ^ a b "Apple iPhone 6 Teardown". 
  40. ^ "Nexus 6". 
  41. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review". 

External links[edit]