CHIP DESIGNER CSR has shown off the world's first 802.11ai WiFi hotspot.
CSR designs the UniFi CSR6026 chipset that powers the demonstration hotspot, which supports the 802.11ai Fast Link standard. The standard is expected to be adopted among public and municipal WiFi hotspots and is being pushed by Japanese outfit Root.
Klaus Buehring, SVP of technology and development at CSR said, "When finalized, the IEEE 802.11ai standard will significantly change the way mobile Wi-Fi is used by reducing the time it takes to associate with a hotspot from tens of seconds to less than a second while greatly reducing the energy required. This will extend battery life and enable instant access to hotspots through a variety of devices as people travel about in airports, train stations, shopping malls and other densely populated areas."
Interestingly 802.11ai won't necessarily mean greater bandwidth but offers improved MAC layer authentication and association of mobile devices. The idea is that devices will use less power to 'connect' to WiFi hotspots. The protocol can be used with existing 802.11b/g/n networks.
The aim of 802.11ai is to reduce the time smartphones and tablets spend on connecting to WiFi hotspots from tens of seconds to less than a second. The connection phase is often cited as one of the biggest power draws in mobile devices.
While CSR and Root have demonstrated 802.11ai technology, it will be a few years before it sees widespread deployment. µ