Quantenna unveils full-duplex 802.11ax mesh chipset solution

Wi-Fi (pixabay)
Quantenna’s new QSR10R-AX includes three 4x4 802.11ax radios that allow full-duplex operation as opposed to half-duplex.

Quantenna Communications announced its QSR10R-AX chipset for 802.11ax mesh repeater networks. The company is showcasing it at Broadband World Forum Telecoms Conference & Industry Event in Messe, Berlin, this week.

California-based Quantenna says the QSR10R-AX is the world’s first solution to combine three 4x4 802.11ax radios and integrated CPU cores for optimal mesh repeating functionality. 802.11ax is the newest Wi-Fi standard and is in the process of being ratified.

Quantenna is focused on high-performance Wi-Fi chips; it has about 50 service providers that are using its products right now.

Specifically, this product is targeted at the trend of deploying more than one access point in a home, creating a mesh type of network and synchronizing them for the best coverage, according to Lionel Bonnot, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Quantenna.

It’s mostly retail today with companies like NetGear, Eero and others, but the expectation is that broadband service providers will also want a piece of this market, including wireless service providers that rely on Wi-Fi for offloading traffic. In homes, Wi-Fi is usually the go-to connection and consumers increasingly want it to work well in all of their rooms.

“With the proliferation of device and usage, every location including the home is becoming a high-density environment. 802.11 ax maximizes airtime capacity to handle more devices at the same time. Quantenna is adapting the latest Wi-Fi innovations of MU-MIMO and OFDMA to improve mesh topologies and meet the ever growing coverage and capacity needs of end-users,” said Adlane Fellah, senior analyst at Maravedis, in a press release.

Quantenna says its QSR10R-AX supports simultaneous delivery of video, voice, data to increasing numbers of internet-connected wireless devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and the IoT. The support for voice is key as people want to use Wi-Fi for phone calls without incurring roaming charges.

Quantenna expects to sample the QSR10R-AX chipset to early access partners in the first half of 2018; it’s mostly targeted for inclusion in repeaters and mesh nodes.

Quantenna and its rivals Broadcom and Qualcomm have announced 802.11ax support for access points, but Bonnot said this marks a first for the repeaters.

Handset-type products with 802.11ax could start to happen in the second half of 2018 but major smartphones with the technology are likely to come in the 2019 timeframe.