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802.11ac in 2012?

11th December 2011.

Broadcom has suggested that it may be trying to include a draft version of the forthcoming 802.11ac wireless standard in it's chips in the coming year. That means we'll likely see routers using these chips in the 2013 timeframe.

Rahul Patel, Broadcom's VP of mobile and wireless stated that using a 3x3 antennae set-up at 80MHz, as 802.11ac user could get about 1.3Gb per second, and this could be doubled at 160MHz. These are likely to be ideal world scenarios and real-world usage will likely be lower, but it looks like at last we'll have a wireless standard that can shift HD video and big data around at the speeds we want.

The 802.11ac standard will be backwards compatibility meaning that current routers and networking kit will work with it just fine. The Wi-Fi Alliance is planning to hold its first 802.11ac kit test in the first quarter of 2012, meaning that manufacturers can start to see how the implementation will actually work. They are targeting a full ratification of the standard in December 2013, but expect to see draft versions appearing in retail before then. Exciting times.

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