Qualcomm launches mesh solution, extends 802.11ad features

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Qualcomm has announced a new mesh networking platform to help enable connectivity in the smart home and a push for 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology to aid enterprises and outdoor deployments.

The platform, which will support voice activation services, is based on Qualcomm's IPQ40x8/9 network system-on-chip and includes a Wi-Fi self-organising network feature suite to enable full in-building coverage, automatic management and traffic optimisation. Cloud-based analytics will run troubleshooting and diagnostics for the solution.

Qualcomm said the solution will serve as a "universal translator" for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, CSRmesh connectivity, and 802.15.4-based technologies, which it said would ease the risk of fragmentation and ensure compatibility and simultaneous use of different tech.

Gopi Sirineni, Vice-President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, said: "With our new Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform, we are building upon that foundation to accelerate the next generation of mesh systems to further enhance connected services in the home.

“New capabilities like voice assistance and IoT radio integration will not only transform consumer experiences at home, but along with carrier-grade feature enhancements, make it easier for our customers to adopt and deploy mesh systems aligned to how people want their networks to perform.”

Meanwhile, the chipset maker said it is looking to extend the benefits of 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology to operators and enterprises.

A new 802.11ad chipset, which should appear in products later this year, now features up to 256 antenna elements, which Qualcomm said can ensure robust wireless connections outdoor and in long-range deployments. It said the technology, which uses the 60GHz band, can serve as an alternative to fibre and cable deployments.

It also uses advanced beamforming and beam steering for use in dense environments.

Irvind Ghai, Vice-President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, said: “802.11ad holds great promise for a wide variety of consumer applications, and can now provide enterprises and carriers with a highly robust and cost-effective way to extend their networks indoors and out."