Atheros: 5 not 60 GHz is real future of Wi-Fi
"There are not too many [wireless design tools] left on the table" beyond what the .11ac and .11ad standards are adopting, McFarland said. "We haven’t implemented multiple-access OFDMA or multi-user uplink yet, but that’s very difficult to do," he added.
Sample chips for the 5 GHz 802.11ac and the 60 GHz 802.11ad standards should emerge late this year with systems products following late next year.
The .11ac standard adopts multiuser MIMO and 256 QAM over 5 GHz. The techniques help it deliver Gbit/s speeds over existing Wi-Fi ranges when using 80 MHz of bandwidth and at least three antennas.
"It will be a big splash–we will make it a big splash," said McFarland.
The 60 GHz .11ad standard could support up to 7 Gbits/s thanks to even wider channels, but will be limited to use within a room due to difficulty of propagating the 60 GHz signals.
The .11ac products will eventually replace .11n products. The 60 GHz products will open up new applications such as high-speed video transfers within a room, he said.
"We feel the two systems are quite different and not really competitive with each other," he added. Ultimately, many modules will support both standards, he said.
At ISSCC in January, engineers debated the relative merits of the 5 and 60 GHz approaches. Some noted China does not have the 80 MHz bands at 5 GHz needed to deliver the .11ac Gbit/s rates.