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Quantenna claims lead over wireline home networking

The tide has hit the high water mark for wireline home networking, according to Sam Heidari, interim CEO and VP of R&D at Wi-Fi chipmaker Quantenna

By PETER WHITE

Published: 2 June, 2011

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The tide has hit the high water mark for wireline home networking, according to Sam Heidari, interim CEO and VP of R&D at Wi-Fi chipmaker Quantenna.

He says the company’s 4x4 MIMO chips will fill the studios, TV networks and pay TV services’ requirements for home video streaming, most notably guaranteed QoS for flicker-free video and lock-box-like content security for piracy prevention.

Heidari says Quantenna can provide that performance because its chips have the full MIMO implementation of IEEE 802.11n, something no one else has done. He points out that different Wi-Fi chipmakers implement different portions of the Wi-Fi n spec, all of which are compatible. When the chip is going in a mobile device, for example, Wi-Fi n is implemented for lower-power use and lower cost.

Quantenna implemented full Wi-Fi 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), dynamic digital beam forming, mesh networking and channel monitoring and optimization. The Quantenna “Full-11n” Wi-Fi product, the company says, “ensures the high quality that consumers expect, and the reliability that service providers demand, including full HDTV video quality with 1080p resolution, anywhere in the home, on devices ranging from HDTVs to video game consoles and networked music receivers.” And, it’s always compatible with all existing and future Wi-Fi gear, the company says.

The result, Quantenna says, is five times the coverage and double the throughput when compared to traditional Wi-Fi. It ensures the ultra-low system latencies necessary for real-time applications, such as online bidirectional video game controllers.

Content security and privacy security comes from using an integrated digital signal processing (DSP) engine for higher-layer security acceleration.

The pay-TV companies’ goal is to get to consumer-installed home networks — zero truck rolls. To help them achieve that, Quantenna has built in auto detection of access point and bridge mode, and security pre-configuration with single-touch Wi-Fi protected setup when new devices are added to the network. What else could a digital media lover ask for?

It provides a better performance, Heidari says, than the two major wireline standards MoCA and HomePlug. He gives MoCA high marks for its use of interference-free and predictable coax. However, he says all powerline network technologies including HomePlug and G.hn have three shortcomings:

- Security, because in an MDU, like in an apartment building, the power lines between residences are all connected.

- Interference from noise on the power lines all the time and made worse when a major appliance such as a microwave or vacuum cleaner comes on.

- Continuity because some homes have separate power line breakers, which can terminate the network.

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