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Monday, December 03, 2012
Marvell Introduces 802.11ac 4x4 Wireless Chipset

Marvell today announced the Marvell Avastar 88W8864, a wireless local area network (WLAN) system-on-chip (SoC) and the first 802.11ac 4x4 solution built to improve the throughput of enterprise and retail access points.

Compared to its predecessor 802.11n, 802.11ac offers up to a three times increase in Wi-Fi throughput and more than two times the power efficiency when processing high-speed loads.

The latest addition to Marvell's portfolio of Avastar 802.11ac products, the 88W8864, combines the 4x4 MIMO solution with Marvell's beamforming technology and now 802.11ac support.

The Marvell 8864 chipset increases performance by using four antennas to receive and four to send data (4x4.) Sending and receiving data using multiple antennas is possible thanks to a technology called MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output), which is already used in both Wi-Fi and LTE networks.

Marvell's chipset also uses a technology called beamforming, which improves performance by aiming the signal at the receiver. The way Marvell has implemented beamforming means smartphones, tablets and laptops don't have to proactively support it to get the advantages.

The combination of multiple antennas with beamforming results in higher speeds, as well improved range and reliability. For users the improvements also mean longer battery life, because devices such as smartphones can "get on and off the air" faster, said Bart Giordano, director of product marketing at Marvell's Wireless unit.

Giordano added that demonstrations were "north of 800M bps of UDP throughput sustained over the air," and expected to approach real gigabit per second throughput.

The Marvell chipset will be used on access points, routers, gateways, video bridges and set top boxes, the first of which will start shipping in the middle of next year.

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