Monday, November 17, 2008

Proxim Orinoco AP-8000 Doubles Wi-Fi Throughput With Two 802.11n Radios [Wi-Fi]


This one's more for the IT dudes, but is interesting as an indication of how we may see more speed squeezed out of the 802.11n wi-fi spec: a new enterprise access point from Proxim uses two 802.11n radios simultaneously, effectively doubling throughput to 320 Mbps (a single wireless N radio maxes out at around 170 Mbps). But it can't just be that simple, right?

No. The bottleneck in a setup like this is the centralized wireless controller chipset architecture that routes all of the data coming in and out. Proxim's solution, instead, uses a new distributed wireless architecture for which enables it to smartly share the burden over the two radios. It uses two standard Atheros 802.11n radio chips and a controller processor from Freescale. This is also different from the many dual-band routers out there that use two radios, but only for each band individually—not combined into a single bandwidth pipe.

Of course, your computer only has one radio, so you won't see double the speeds on your local machine. This just helps cram more data onto a huge enterprise network without bringing it down, but an interesting strategy that could, theoretically, find its way into more consumer-type gear. The dual-radio AP-8000 costs $1,099, and also looks like a Dungeness crab after I've eaten four delicious legs already. Sold! [Product Page via GigaOM]