Feeds

Samsung notebooks to sport Airgo Wi-Fi booster

Centrino dropped for MIMO

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Computex 2005 Samsung is to equip two of its wireless-enabled notebooks with Airgo's bandwidth-boosting 'multiple input, multiple output' (MIMO) Wi-Fi technology, the two companies announced at Computex 2005 this week.

The move puts Samsung's X20 and X25 machines among the first notebooks to support what is likely to become the 802.11n standard for wired-speed wireless networking.

It's also a blow for Intel, which had counted the X20 and X25 among the list of Centrino-based notebooks. The X20 and X25 will continue to use the Pentium M processor and Intel system logic, but the shift from Intel Wi-Fi silicon to Airgo's will result in a significant wireless performance gain. According to independent real-world testing conducted by The Tolly Group (TTG) for Airgo, the incorporation of the fabless semiconductor company's 'True MIMO' chipset improves performance when Airgo's technology powers both ends of the wireless link but also when the Samsung notebooks connect to a regular access point.

TTG's numbers point to an almost fourfold gain effective throughput when connecting to a standard Linksys access point, rising to an increase in effective throughput of over 650 per cent with an Airgo-enabled Linksys box. The results reveal comparable gains in the WLAN's coverage area.

The X20 and X25 remain fully compatible with standard 802.11a/b/g access points, Airgo president and CEO Greg Raleigh told The Register.

One frequency, multiple signals

MIMO uses multiple radios to transmit multiple standard-speed signals in a single 20MHz channel. Unlike other MIMO offerings, Airgo's system leverages the way these signals interfere as they are scattered by obstacles in their environment to drive further range and bandwidth gains. Spatial multiplexing schemes put the data sent out across these signals back together again.

Raleigh said Airgo is the only company to take this approach. Competitors may use the word 'MIMO' but they are not true MIMO implementations, he said.

The Samsung machines use Airgo's second-generation Wi-Fi chipset, which offers more than double the energy efficiency of Intel's rival chipset, said Dave Borison, director of product management. The secret, he said, is the use of a pricey but efficient Bipolar CMOS process to fab the chipset's three radios. "We can run three radios in the same power envelope than other Wi-Fi chipsets run one radio in," he said.

Borison said Airgo's product roadmap would deliver enhanced energy efficiency, better bandwidth and lower bill-of-materials costs going over time.

Airgo has positioned its products at the high end of the Wi-Fi arena, not least because MIMO technology's much-improved range and bandwidth don't come cheap, and it's a far less crowded segment of the Wi-Fi chip market than the low-end. That said, sources familiar with Airgo's plans expect the company to begin pushing down into the mid-range and taking the fight to the likes of Atheros and Broadcom more aggressively.

Raleigh and Borison would not comment on the company's immediate plans, but it's clear the company is pushing hard to broaden its customer base beyond the consumer WLAN arena into consumer electronics and ultimately other wireless markets. Airgo's advantage is its lead in MIMO development, built on its founders' pioneering work on the technology.

That also led to Airgo champion MIMO as the basis for the next generation of the 802.11 WLAN standard. Today, 802.11n has yet to emerge as a single specification, let alone a ratified standard. However, Airgo's shipping product already supports both of the two, similar proposed specifications for the new standard, said Raleigh, and will work with the merged spec that will ultimately be ratified by the IEEE. ®

Related stories

VIA unveils C7-M notebook processor
IEEE rejects Nokia-backed next-gen Wi-Fi proposal
Gigabit Wi-Fi looms large
Belkin out on a limb with 802.11n?
WiFi Alliance warns chip makers over 802.11n claims
Wi-Fi group says 'no' to pre-standard 802.11n kit
Airgo to double Wi-Fi bandwidth to 108Mbps

Related review

Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.