Now that we've all been spoiled by the 802.11n WLAN standard, a standard that underwent significant growing pains to get to this point (remember all those Draft-n devices?), it's time to start looking ahead to 802.11ac. How far ahead has yet to be determined, but if you ask Broadcom, the company will tell you it could become mainstream by the second quarter of 2013.
It could also slip all the way back to the first quarter of 2014, according to Michael Hurlston, senior vice president for Broadcom's Mobile and Wireless business unit, DigiTimes reports . We're hoping it happens much sooner. Trendnet has already gotten trippy with a 1300Mbps AC router, and In-Stat predicts we'll see more devices this year, with total market dominance by 2015.
Exactly what is 802.11ac? It's a new wireless protocol that promises faster speeds by improving modulation and extending 802.11n's MIMO capabilities with support for up to eight spatial streams (802.11n supports four). It operates solely on the cleaner and less crowded 5GHz band and is a superior WLAN technology in a number of ways. We provide a more in-depth explanation here .
Hurlston says his company has already offered its 5G Wi-Fi series chips to several vendors, and after peeking at their roadmaps, he expects to see more 802.11ac capable routers launched by the middle of this year, wireless gateways in Q3, and consumer electronic devices (TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, smartphones) by Q4 2012 or Q1 2013.
Image Credit: Broadcom