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Quantenna's new chip turns 802.11ac Wi-Fi up a notch

Quantenna announces the first 4x4 (quad-stream) 802.11ac chipset. The new chipset, which offers a cap speed of 1.7Gbps, is slated to be used in products later this year.

There's more to 802.11ac than we've seen so far.

Quantenna Communications announced today the first 802.11ac chipset, called QSR1000, with a ceiling speed of up to 1.7Gbps, which is 400Mbps faster than the current cap of any 802.11ac router, such as the Asus RT-AC66U or the Trendnet TEW-812DRU.

The QSR1000 achieves this new speed by supporting the new 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac standard. In other words, it's the first quad-stream Wi-Fi chipset. Up to now, all existing Wi-Fi devices have only used a single-stream, dual-stream, or three-stream setup. (Read more about Wi-Fi standards here.) By adding another stream, the QSR1000 naturally brings data speed to the new level.

Quantenna says the QSR1000 chipset supports the latest Wave 2 802.11ac specification. It combines multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology, dynamic digital beamforming, and support for four spatial streams to deliver better performance in terms of range, data speed, and signal stability. The new speed means that you can easily stream even 4K high-definition content wirelessly among supported devices within the home.

Quantenna's QSR1000 802.11ac chipset is backward-compatible with existing Wi-Fi standards, but you need to use devices of the same 4x4 (quad-stream) setup to enjoy its top 1.7Gbps data speed.

According to Quantenna, the QSR100 chipset is sampling now, with reference designs being available to major OEMs. The company says end-user devices such as access points, routers, and clients will be available by the end of the year.