Samsung Electronics has developed a new Wi-Fi technology that it says will soon allow users to download a 1 GB movie in less than three seconds, or stream uncompressed high-definition videos from mobile devices to TVs in real-time. The company also claims that the 802.11ad standard, 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology will to enable maximum speed irrespective of the number of devices connected to the same network.
According to Samsung, the technology will enable data transmission speeds of up to 4.6 Gigabits per second (Gbps). This is five times faster than the current fastest transfer rate of 866 Mbps currently achievable.
"Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60 GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology, and looks forward to commercializing this breakthrough technology," said Kim Chang Yong, Head of DMC R&D Center of Samsung Electronics. "New and innovative changes await Samsung’s next-generation devices, while new possibilities have been opened up for the future development of Wi-Fi technology."
Samsung’s new technology also purports to eliminate the gap between theoretical and actual speeds, by achieving transfer rates 10 times faster compared to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies via improvements in millimeter-wave circuit design, a betterment of high-performance modem devices, and by evolving wide-coverage beam-forming antennae. The latter is the physical key to transmission speed improvement with the new 802.11ad standard, allowing the use of 32 x 32 antenna arrays, up from the 8 x 8 arrays permissible in the current 802.11ac standard. If the full array was properly utilized, the 1 GB video downloadable in three seconds previously mentioned could theoretically be transferred in less than 100 milliseconds.
Samsung also lays claim to having developed a world first capability of allowing many devices to connect to a network simultaneously, along with another claimed first for micro beam-forming control technology that reconfigures settings in the onboard communications module to respond to any changes in the communications environment in less than 1/3,000th of a second to optimize signal strength.
There are some unspoken limitations to this technology, however. At 60 GHz, walls and other objects become real impediments to Wi-Fi signals, so transmissions will probably be limited to devices within a radius of a few meters. This is because, as the frequency is increased, logarithmic increases in path loss (attenuation of the signal in the atmosphere) occur, meaning that increasing power levels are required simply to achieve the same signal strength achieved at lower frequencies.
The transmission rates will also be limited by the internet bandwidth available to the device from which the original data is being transferred – no matter the speed of Wi-Fi transfer, you cannot upload faster than the limitations of your internet connection.
Samsung aims to embed this technology in a varied range of electronic products, including medical devices, entertainment systems, telecommunications equipment, and – of course – the Samsung Smart Home.
No word as yet on when this technology might become available.