802.11AC IN-Depth White Paper
Wi-Fi has become such an amazingly successful technology because it has continuously advanced while remaining backwards compatible. Every few years since the 802.11b amendment was ratified, the industry has released successive amendments increasing Wi-Fi data rates and capabilities, but even the latest Wi-Fi systems are able to interoperate with 1999 equipment built to the original standard. This paper
explains the latest advance in Wi-Fi, 802.11ac, which provides the next step forward in performance.
The current state-of-the-art Wi-Fi is known as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n or 802.11n. In the four years since the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced its initial certification, this technology has become hugely popular. According to IHS iSuppli, 802.11n now accounts for over two-thirds of Wi-Fi chipset shipments, and is on track to take over completely from 802.11a/b/g in mainstream applications before the end of 2012.
802.11n has become popular because it improves performance. The five-fold increase in bandwidth, along with improved reliability from multi-antenna MIMO techniques, has delivered a better user experience. In fact, a 2007 Burton Group report entitled “The end of Ethernet” accurately predicted a future where Wi-Fi will take over from wired Ethernet as the primary edge connection for corporate networks.
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