January 4, 2005 3:12 PM PST

Linksys feels the need for more Wi-Fi speed

Networking gear maker Linksys is incorporating a new technology that expands the range of its Wi-Fi products up to three times and the speed up to eight times, according to the company.

Linksys, a division of networking giant Cisco Systems, announced on Tuesday a new line of 802.11g products that includes a feature called SRX, or Speed and Range eXpansion.

The feature is based on multiple-in, multiple-out technology from chipmaking start-up Airgo Networks. Wireless networks based on the 802.11g standard have a range of about 150 feet and an optimal transfer rate of 54 megabits per second but average closer to half of that. The MIMO products are compatible with the 802.11g and 802.11b standards.

Limited range and slower-than-expected speed are common complaints from consumers with wireless networks.

A Linksys $199 Wireless-G Broadband Router with SRX and a Linksys $129 Wireless-G Notebook Adapter with SRX PC Card are currently available and will be demonstrated at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas.

The wireless-networking industry is working to create the next-generation Wi-Fi standard, 802.11n, and proposals have been accepted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an industry group that determines standards.

The 802.11n standard will allow for actual throughput rates of up to 100mbps. MIMO has been identified as the technology on which 802.11n, expected to be completed in two to three years, will be based. However, which features the 802.11n standard will include is still being debated.

Airgo is one of the lead developers of MIMO technology. The company has shipped more than a million MIMO chips. Airgo's other manufacturing partner is Belkin.

 

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