Samsung Unveils Plans for 4.6 Gbps Wi-Fi

Samsung says it has developed commercially viable 60 GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology using the 802.11ad standard that enables data transmission speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. At these speeds, a 1 GB movie will take less than three seconds to transfer between devices and uncompressed HD videos can be streamed directly from mobile devices to TVs in real-time.

Wireless communications at 60 GHz are challenging because of the path loss caused by walls, trees and even the atmosphere. Samsung was able to meet these challenges through its millimeter-wave circuit designs, high-performance modem technologies, and its wide-coverage-beam-forming antenna. Its micro beam-forming control technology can optimize a communications module in less than 333 microseconds to respond to any changes in the communications environment. Samsung also developed the world's first method that allows multiple devices to connect simultaneously to a network. Unlike existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi technologies, Samsung's 802.11ad standard 60 GHz Wi-Fi is able to maintain maximum speed by eliminating co-channel interference, regardless of the number of devices using the same network, and thus remove the gap between theoretical and actual speeds.

The 60 GHz band is available for use without a license across the world. Samsung expects to commercialize it as early as next year and plans to apply it to a wide range of products, including audio/visual and medical devices as well as telecommunications gear.

Kim Chang Yong, Head of DMC R&D Center of Samsung Electronics, said, “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. 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.”

Researchers have been investigating use of 60 GHz for wireless communications for several years. The paper The Massively Broadband Future by Professor Ted Rappaport, presented at the Spectrum 20/20 Conference in 2012 provides an excellent tutorial on 60 GHz propagation and beam forming techniques in addition to the results of communications experiments conducted by his team at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in New York City. Rappaport's June 11, 2013 paper, Millimeter Wave Cellular – A road to 5G covers NYU Wireless research at millimeter wavelengths. While it focuses on 28 GHz, much of the information is applicable to 60 GHz. Samsung is one of the NYU Wireless sponsors.

One of the companies commercializing Samsung's technologies may be Nitero. In July this year it announced its 60G family of solutions. The first product was the NT4600. It is designed in Samsung's advanced 28nm RF process based on 28nm HKMG LPP technology and Nitero plans production shipments in 2015. Nitero's 60G solutions support transmit and receive beamforming for non-line-of-sight conditions and peer-to-peer wireless connectivity using 16-QAM modulation at up to 4.6 Gbps, the same speed Samsung announced.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.