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California-based Airgo Networks is claiming its third generation MIMO chipset can offer wireless data rates of 240Mbit/s, outstripping the rate wired connections can provide.

“This is such a big speed bump to break as for years we’ve all lived with compromises [such as lower speeds and dropped connections] in the wireless world,” said Bob...

California-based Airgo Networks is claiming its third generation MIMO chipset can offer wireless data rates of 240Mbit/s, outstripping the rate wired connections can provide.

“This is such a big speed bump to break as for years we’ve all lived with compromises [such as lower speeds and dropped connections] in the wireless world,” said Bob de Martino, v-p of strategic development at Airgo. “What this does is eliminate those compromises.”

The chipset uses MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology developed by Airgo which harnesses natural radio wave distortions, previously considered to be interference, to “deliver dramatically increased speed, range and reliability”.

De Martino said this chip is also important for the firm as there was disbelief in the industry that MIMO could deliver the high data rate capability.

“Last year when we announced commercially available MIMO OFDM chipsets we were topped out at about 45Mbit/s,” said de Martino. “Even then people said ‘great, but MIMO is never going to be able to do Ethernet type speeds’, so this is a big breakthrough.”

The speed offered by the chipset means media-rich Internet, large files, video, IPTV, music, photos and games, can be distributed across a wireless network without compromises in performance, which de Martino said removes any barrier to the digital home.

The technology is also compatible with various wireless standards including 802.11a, b and g. This means that, “we could talk to an enhanced MIMO client at 240Mbit/s, to a first generation MIMO client at 108Mbit/s data transfer rate, to a ‘g’ client at 54Mbit/s and a ‘b’ at 11Mbit/s all on the same network at the same time, on a packet-by-packet basis”.

De Martino expects the technology to be shipping in products by the end of this year.

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