Introduction to Fast World of Internet

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Hello again and as the continuation of my previous post, this post will talk about an interesting topic which I have chosen for talking about standards. The topic which I have chosen is based on the Ultra Fast Wifi Connectivity. This is really the W word these days, no body can live without internet or more precisely without accessing their Facebook. If the internet connection that you are getting gets super fast enabling you to do stuff at super speeds, why not read about the technology that goes into making it. But before getting into the topic we will see about the various standards that evolved before to give an overall perspective of the previous Wifi version.

The primary reason for developing the wireless LAN standards is to serve the needs of Laptop PC in home and office and later to allow connectivity “on the roads” in airports, hotels, internet cafes, educational Institutions and standard associated with it is IEEE 802.11a and b. This standard was pretty famous and is used for developing the standards for the future connectivity. From the readings on the internet the main reason for developing this standard is to provide a link to a wired broadband connection for web browsing and email. At the time of developing this standards 802.11a could provide upto 54 Mb/s at 5Ghz[1] and 802.11b upto 11Mb/s at 2.4Ghz[2] and both of them falls under unlicensed spectrum bands. This was pretty high speeds considering the fact that it was still broad band communication that time when these standards were initialized.

After the introduction of these two standards there were a phenomenal research work in this topic and soon in the subsequent standards interference from other equipment were main topic addressed because of the fact that 2.4Ghz was unlicensed spectrum band and it served as a communication frequency for many applications. The year 2009 saw the introduction of MIMO in the IEEE 802.11n standard. MIMO stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output where upto 4 separate physical transmit and receive antennas carrying different data is aggregated in the modulation/demodulation process at the same time.

Wifi Usage
TABLE 1: WIRELESS LAN USAGE MODELS [3].
  But this doesn’t satisfy the requirement of the future needs and the market needed still advanced models to cater the need. Then came the IEEE 802.11ac which was an extension of IEEE 802.11n which provided upto 500Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s overall throughput which was running at 5Ghz band, but by the time this was released working group called TGad has already completed its work on much faster and better model and this was called IEEE 802.11ad which could provide upto 6.75 Gbps throughput using approximately 2 Ghz of spectrum at new frequency range 60 Ghz which also falls under unlicensed spectrum band. For those of you wondering about why throughput is really essential because throughput is defined as rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel and more the number better the standard is. This factor was one of the primary motivation of setting up the recent standards.

Another important motivation of developing these standards is the backward compatibility. In simple terms backward compatibility can be defined as a system which can use date from its earlier version of the systems or any other system . As 802.11 ac and ad standards almost got released in the same time, they were having similar MAC or Data link layer properties but differed in the Physical layer characteristics. These are the called the reference layers for how applications can communicate over a network and the model they are based on is called the OSI model. More information about what is an OSI model can be seen here. 

Now enough of the technological details, the new Fast Wifi will be based on one of the recent IEEE standard 802.11ad. Though 802.11 ac is still super fast than the previous models, the one that will focused on these posts will be based on 802.11ad. To recall from the top this standard operates at 60 Ghz wifi technology and it can provide speed up to 4.6Gbps which is a giant leap. This is almost equivalent to ten times the speed of today’s network based on 802.11 n (well at-least on papers they are). The main reason why this technology holds the edge over the existing standard? Who are all the people involved in this? and who are the players in the market who has already developing products for this standard? The answer for all these question will be in the next post.

Sorry guys, before you sign off from this page I would like to share this youtube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXYnXIiFIPw which coincidentally talks about the things I have said in a video form. Never really expected that there existed a video on the same lines. [P.S: I didnt knew that they existed a video at the time I was writing this text. Thanks to my friend who shared it with me.]

Thanks for your time and see you soon with the next post.

Regards,

Manigandan Siva

References:

[1]http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/wireless/wi-fi/ieee-802-11a.php.

[2]http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/wireless/wi-fi/ieee-802-11b.php

[3] Wireless LAN at 60 GHz – IEEE 802.11ad Explained – Agilent Technologies [White Paper]..