Market Insight

Three press releases shine bright light on the 802.11ac Wave2 technology

October 27, 2016  | Subscribers Only

Christian Kim Christian Kim Senior Analyst, IoT & Connectivity
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During the third week of October, three companies made press release announcements related to new Wi-Fi products. Coincidently, the three new products (one device and two ICs) from the press releases each covered upcoming Wi-Fi technologies (802.11ac Wave2, 802.11ad and 802.11ax). This article will examine the highlights from the three press releases and assess the technology adoption status of these next generation Wi-Fi standards.

The titles and links of the three press releases are provided below:

1. Netgear debuts the world’s fastest router: new Nighthawk X10 with 802.11ac + ad (Link)

2. Broadcom expands 802.11ac MU-MIMO portfolio for routers, service provider gateways and set top boxes (Link)

3. Quantenna announces world’s first 802.11ax Wi-Fi solution (Link)


Highlights from the press releases

Netgear's Nighthawk X10 Smart Wi-Fi router:

  • The new router contains three connectivity chips with following profiles:
    • Combined transmission rate: 7.2Gbps
    • 802.11ad IC: 1x1 MIMO at 60GHz band, transmission rate of 4.6Gbps  (4.6Gbps x 1)
    • 802.11ac IC: 4x4 MU-MIMO at 5GHz band, transmission rate of 1.73Gbps (433Mbps x 4)
    • 802.11n/ac IC: 4x4 MIMO at 2.4GHz band, transmission rate of 800Mbps (200Mbps x 4)
  • Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $499.99 US

Broadcom's BCM4366E connectivity IC:

  • 802.11ac Wave2 IC, 4x4 MU-MIMO
  • Targeted for routers, service provider gateways and set top boxes
  • Broadcom demonstrated the BCM4366E solution at the Broadband World Forum in London, October 18-20, 2016

Quantenna's new QSR10G-AX connectivity IC:

  • Supports latest 802.11ax draft 1.0 specification
  • Industry's first 802.11ax Wi-Fi chipset
  • Support 12 total streams: 8 streams in the 5GHz band, 4 streams in the 2.4Ghz band
  • Pin-to-pin compatible with QSR10G, Quantenna’s Wave3 12-stream dual-band 802.11ac and 802.11n access point solution
  • Expected to sample to early access partners in the early part of 2017


Which of the Wi-Fi connections (802.11ad, 802.11ac, 802.11n) offered by the Netgear's Nighthawk X10 router will be most heavily used in the next couple of years? 

What is the significance of the Broadcom's BCM4366E IC annoucement?

How soon are we going to start seeing the products based on the 802.11ax standard? 

What is one common underlying assumption made in all three press releases?

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Broadcom Netgear
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