Feature Article

October 13, 2014

Samsung Develops 10X Faster Wi-Fi

Samsung Electronics announced development of Wi-Fi access at 60 GHz that enables data transmission speeds of up to 4.6 Gbps, or 575 MB per second, a five-fold increase from 866 Mbps, or 108 MB per second - the maximum theoretical speed possible with existing consumer electronics devices.

“Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60 GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology, and looks forward to commercializing this breakthrough technology,” said Kim Chang Yong, Head of DMC R&D Center of Samsung Electronics.

Unlike the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies, Samsung’s 802.11ad standard 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology maintains maximum speed by eliminating co-channel interference, regardless of the number of devices using the same network.

By doing so, Samsung’s new technology removes the gap between theoretical and actual speeds, and exhibits actual speed that is more than 10 times faster than that of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies.

Until now, there have been significant challenges in commercially adopting 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology, as millimeter waves that travel by line-of-sight has weak penetration properties and is susceptible to path loss, resulting in poor signal and data performance.

By leveraging millimeter-wave circuit design and high performance modem technologies and by developing wide-coverage beam-forming antenna, Samsung says it was able to successfully achieve the highest quality, commercially viable 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology.

As is the case with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum, the 60 GHz is an unlicensed band spectrum across the world, and commercialization is expected as early as next year.

Samsung plans to apply this new technology to a wide range of products, including audio visual and medical devices, as well as telecommunications equipment.

The big trade-off for communications-capable spectrum is “distance” versus “capacity.” Basically, lower frequencies have greater reach, but less potential bandwidth. Higher frequencies offer higher bandwidth, but less reach.

At the same time, the options for providing more effective end user bandwidth include access to additional physical bandwidth (frequencies), better modulation or beam-forming (signal processing), as well as cell architecture (cell division, small cells, signal handoff). 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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