Thursday, January 06, 2005 - Personal Technology: New Version of Wi-Fi Expands Both Range And Speed of Networks - Personal Technology: New Version of Wi-Fi Expands Both Range And Speed of Networks: "Several makers of Wi-Fi gear are expected to offer wireless routers -- base-station transmitters -- and matching add-on cards for laptops that sharply increase range and speed simultaneously. These products are based on a new technology called MIMO from Silicon Valley chip maker Airgo Networks.
MIMO -- which stands for Multiple Input, Multiple Output -- is likely to be the basis for the next major flavor of Wi-Fi, now under development, which goes by the technical name 802.11n. It's intended to replace the most common flavors used in homes today, which engineers call 802.11b and 802.11g. But MIMO is so good that makers are rushing it into the market even before the new standard is complete.
Also, these new MIMO products are backward compatible with older "b" and "g" equipment. So you can use the new Belkin base station with laptops that have older "b" and "g" Wi-Fi circuitry, or use the new Belkin laptop cards with older "b" and "g" base stations.
Belkin claims that when its pre-N base station and laptop card are used together, wireless coverage can increase up to 800% compared with "g" gear, and speed can increase up to 600%. And, in mixed setups with older Wi-Fi equipment, the company says range can increase up to 20%.
One downside to the Belkin Pre-N gear is that the complete setup works only on Windows. You can set up the base station with a Macintosh as your main computer, but there is no software yet to allow the receiver card to function in a Mac laptop."

Also see Linksys Announces New Line of Mimo-Based Wireless-G Products
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