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7Gb/s 802.11ac Wi-Fi-Enabled Devices Arriving in 2013

The development in Wi-Fi connections is at full speed today, with the development of 802.11ad, a new standard offering as much as 7 GBps. In 2013, it is expected that products supporting this new standard will be certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, possibly around the latter part of the year.

Chips supporting the device are still difficult to find in the market today, even at the Computex expo in Taipei. However, they are now being tested on various devices, while the new standard is still undergoing developed. Before the year ends, some manufacturers might even release notebooks with support for 802.11ad connectivity.

Meanwhile, another technology is being developed alongside 802.11ad, called 802.11ac. In contrast with 802.11ad, 802.11ac might be available much earlier, perhaps as early as the first months of 2013.These two technologies, while both for wireless networking, are intended for different uses. The 802.11ac, on the 5GHz band, aims to provide wireless connectivity inside whole buildings whereas 802.11ad, which will work on the 60GHz band, is more adequate for shorter distances, such as single-room use. 802.11ad, for instance, is useful for streaming content from a mobile device to a television, eliminating the need for cables. It will not be appropriate for longer distances because it is sensitive to obstacles like walls.

Despite the development of these new connection standards, 802.11ad is not likely to cause the phasing out of older standards like 802.11n. Rather, this will coexist with these other standards in tri-band routers. To kickstart the spread of 802.11ad, the Wi-Fi Alliance is prioritizing point to point connection instead of routers. Routers, nonetheless, will eventually come into the picture. Still, Wi-Fi Alliance is envisioning router-less setups using connections between devices instead of through routers. Laptops, for example, like the UltraThin which runs on AMD Trinity or Intel ultraBooks could be equipped with a special wireless card that enables the connection. The same is expected for tablets like the Hondo tablet as well.

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