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IEEE 802.11ac – Very High Throughput for lower 6GHz band

by Krishna Sankar on April 26, 2010

IEEE 802.11ac Very High Throughput (for <6GHz band) is an upcoming standard which is development by IEEE standardization committee. The mandate of Task Group AC is supposed to enhance the High Throughput rates achieved by 802.11n.  As described in the document VHT below 6GHz PAR plus 5C’s (802.11-08/0807r4) the group has the following objectives :

a) Maximum Multi station (STA) throughput of atleast 1Gbps and a maximum single link throughput of atleast 500Mbps.

b) Operation below 6GHz while ensuring backward compatibility and coexistence with legacy 802.11 devices in 5GHz unlicensed bands.

Two among some of the presentations discussing the system’s feasibility are :

1) On the feasibility of 1Gbps for various MAC/PHY architectures (IEEE-802.11-08/0307)

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In slide3 of the ppt, Intel’s study showed that 160MHz bandwidth with 4×4 MIMO is required to achieve around 1Gbps MAC throughput. However, if we allow simultaneous multiple channel usage, we need only 100MHz bandwidth to hit 1Gbps MAC throughput.

2) PHY and MAC Throughput Analysis with 80 MHz for VHT below 6 GHz (IEEE 802.11-08/0535r0)

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The presentation shows that 1Gbps MAC throughput is not reliably achieved with 4×4 MIMO 80MHz bandwidth and 256QAM.

Both the above presentations point to the fact that going to higher throughput cannot be achieved by bandwidth expansion alone. We will see more intelligent channel usage approaches. We will discuss more in the upcoming posts.

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