Qualcomm have released a new family of chipsets aimed at using the 60GHz spectrum to provide over 10 Gbps of network speed on devices, while also keeping power consumption at a minimum.
The QCA64x8 and QCA64x1 chipsets operate on the 60GHz spectrum which is seen as one of the technical advances that will enable 5G connectivity.
Millimetre wave or extremely high frequency spans frequency ranges from 30 to 300 GHz.
Most devices use radio frequencies up to 30 GHz. This has resulted in a congested frequency range, which has led to a loss of efficiency in carrying data across the used spectrums.
Data rates are restricted to less than 1 Gigabit per second on the microwave wavelengths. However operating within the millimetre spectrum data rates can reach 10 Gigabits per second or even higher.
A major challenge to millimetre wave technology has been its poor performance at travelling distance. It requires a direct line of sight from antenna to device, as trees and buildings can block the signal. Atmospheric absorption is another concern as the signal can be scattered by falling rain.
Yet within ten metres of a device it can achieve incredibly fast data speeds and could be a key component in edge computing devices in the future.
Rahul Patel, senior VP and GM ofconnectivity and networking at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc said: “mmWave holds enormous potential to support a new class of user experiences.”
Qualcomm is the first company to bring to market technology built with 802.11ay specifications in mind.
802.11ay is the updated vision of technical standards on wireless networks. 802.11ay is not seen as a replacement WLAN to the current IEEE 802.11 group, which is a set of media access controls and specifications used to establish wireless networks, but is instead viewed as an upgrade to the existing 802.11ad.
“Our 11ay solutions were developed with the flexibility to support a broad ecosystem of smartphone, router or fixed wireless access platforms and provides the industry with the critical building blocks needed to take connectivity performance to the next level,” Rahul Patel commented.
Qualcomm and Facebook
Qualcomm and Facebook have been working in collaboration to deliver high-speed internet connectivity by developing a mulit-node wireless system using the QCA6428 and the QCA6438 chipsets.
Facebook’s connectivity lab has been working on a project named Terragraph which is a multi-node wireless system operating on the 60 GHz spectrum.
Designed to be able to deal with high data usage with a low-cost production the system is built with off-the-shelf components. Terragraph then uses cloud services to handle any increase in data traffic and processing.
Due to the fact that the 60 GHz signal has problems traveling over any kind of distant, Facebook’s Terragraph system designed for cities will have distribution nodes placed every 250 meters to carry the signal along, thus allowing the signal to manoeuvre around buildings and any other obstacles that can be found in urban settings.
Anuj Madan, Product Manager at Facebook commented: “By enabling service providers to offer high-quality internet connectivity in dense urban and suburban areas, this collaboration supports our work to bring more people online to a faster internet.”
Writing in Facebook’s engineering blog Neeraj Choubey & Ali Yazdan added: “We implemented IPv6-only nodes, an SDN-like cloud compute controller, and a new modular routing protocol for fast route convergence and failure detection. We also re-architected the MAC layer to solve the shortcomings of TCP/IP over a wireless link.”
“By implementing a high performance TDMA-TDD MAC, we saw up to 6x improvement in network efficiency and at the same time made TCP/IP predictable compared to the existing Wi-Fi/WiGig standard.”