Quantenna today announced an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset that pushes 1.7Gbps of data over four wireless streams..
The first chips based on the 802.11ac standard hit 1.3Gbps last year by creating three streams of 433Mbps each. (With the older 802.11n standard, the maximum throughput for a single stream is 150Mbps.) Quantenna's QSR1000 chips based on 802.11ac are thus a minor evolution over what was already available, using Multi-user MIMO technology with four spatial streams to hit 1.7Gbps.
The new Quantenna chips will be available to manufacturers in Q3 2013, but there's no word on availability of wireless routers using the chips. "The chip is designed for home routers as well as for enterprises in need of wire-like reliability," a Quantenna spokesperson told Ars. Quantenna's announcement said the chips will be "equally at home in access points, set-top boxes, and consumer electronics."
Quantenna says its chipsets have been shipped in products from companies like Airties, Amper, Cisco, Datasat Technologies, Gemtek, Motorola, Netgear, Sagecomm, Sigma Designs, Swisscom, Technicolor, and Telefónica.
The Wi-Fi chip market is generally dominated by Broadcom, however, with companies like Qualcomm, Marvell, MediaTek, and Samsung also making widely used Wi-Fi chips.
802.11ac support is starting to make its way into mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, and 802.11ac may be heading toward Mac computers in the near future. Even devices that only support one stream can get throughput of 433Mbps with 802.11ac.
If you're in the market for an 802.11ac router, there are already many that support 1.3Gbps from the likes of Buffalo, Netgear, Linksys, and D-Link. 802.11ac is compatible with all your 802.11n devices.
If you're looking for some ludicrous speed in your living room, you might want to wait until tri-band routers using the 60GHz band for 7Gbps transmissions start hitting the market. For most people, though, we suspect today's routers will do just fine.