Ethertronics brings Active Steering technology to Wi-Fi devices

Ethertronics is bringing its Active Steering technology to Wi-Fi and other 5 GHz applications with the introduction of its new EtherChip EC482.

EtherChip EC482 was specifically designed for Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) 5 GHz and Wi-Fi applications. The product is particularly geared for access points, set-top boxes, Wi-Fi clients, extenders, wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

"We developed a beam-forming antenna," Jeff Shamblin, chief scientist at Ethertronics, told FierceWirelessTech. "The spectrum is getting crowded and there's a lot of interfering signals. With the beam-forming technology, not only can we optimize or improve the communication link quality, we can also start to mitigate interference from all these different radiators that you're daily being exposed to."

The EC482 is its latest RFIC (radio frequency integrated circuit) offering. The company started out as an antenna company, but it's been designing its own RFICs for about the last four years, allowing it to design optimized and customized antenna solutions.

The EC482 allows for the generation of four different radiation patterns from a single antenna. The algorithm sitting in the processor of the 482 will implement a sample and switch routine to determine which radiation pattern is going to provide the best connectivity and the highest throughput for the communication link that the end-user is trying to establish, Shamblin said.

It's a product that may be of interest to cable and satellite providers because end users could get a stronger signal in their homes, for example, resulting in fewer service quality complaints. "They will wind up getting a stronger signal and higher throughput" in the home, he said. It also promises to deliver better video streaming capabilities via Wi-Fi devices.

In October, Ethertronics unveiled EtherChip EC459 as the first of the EtherChip line of RF chips to enable its Active Steering technology. The first device integrating high-performance RF switching and a full-featured microprocessor on a single device, the EC459 is geared for 3G and LTE and LTE-Advanced systems, including phones, tablets, notebooks and other products.

Ethertronics announced LTE trials of its Active Steering solution with Tier 1 carriers in the United States and Europe last year whereby it achieved 30 percent spectral efficiency gains. The company didn't identify the carriers.

San Diego-based Ethertornics employs about 250 people in five design centers around the world. The company will be showing the new EtherChip EC482 and Active Steering solutions during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 2-5.

For more:
- see the press release

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