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Comms chips

Airgo Speeds WLAN

Wireless LAN chip startup Airgo Networks Inc. wants to maintain its status as the speed demon of WiFi networking.

The firm says that its third-generation chipset, which is sampling now and should be in products within the next two quarters, will hit peak data transfer rates of 240 Mbit/s and offer average throughput of around 120 Mbit/s.

Currently the fastest WiFi offerings run out of steam at peak rates of around 108 Mbit/s.

Dave Borison, director of product marketing for Airgo, describes the new chipset as "wireless technology that's finally faster than wired" 10/100 Ethernet [ed. note: although, of course, WiFi is still a shared medium].

Airgo uses MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology to get its speed bump. MIMO combines multiple send and receive antennas to improve the quality and speed of transmissions.

Airgo is already trying to push into the SOHO/high-end consumer market with its new, cheaper chip offering and has quietly been gathering more funding to back its marketing and R&D efforts (see AirGo's SOHO Go-Go).

Borison says the extra speed can be used for wireless video and multiple high-definition TV streams. He also suggests that carriers may start to use the equipment as a wireless front-end for the triple play of voice, video, and data.

Airgo is not the only startup that believes carriers are going to start taking a look at high-speed WiFi. Ruckus Wireless is also pitching its soon-to-be announced products at the service provider sector (see The Ruckus Room).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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