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Get Ready to Stream Video over Wi-Fi LANs

Increasingly, mobility has become a common way that small and medium businesses complete their daily business. Its high bandwidth requirements have not meshed with Wi-Fi connection, but soon companies will have oodles of wireless bandwidth.
Increasingly, mobility has become a common way that small and medium businesses complete their daily business. Its high bandwidth requirements have not meshed with Wi-Fi connection, but soon companies will have oodles of wireless bandwidth.With next generation Wi-Fi networks poised to enter the mainstream, vendors have begun preparing their next wave of enhancements. At the CES trade show this week, Marvell has begun touting a new Wi-Fi chipset, the TopDog 11n-450, with a maximum transmission speed of 450M bps. The new product features enhancements to the 802.11n specification, which was designed to boost wireless transmissions from 54M to 100M bps. One of the most significant advancements with this version was a chipsets ability to use multiple antennas; previous versions of Wi-Fi relied on only one. To get 450M transmissions, the Marvell product relies on three antennas.

Networking vendors are adding bandwidth mainly to support video applications, which tend to require more bandwidth than others. In addition to the extra bandwidth, Marvell added a Space Time Block Coding feature that helps wireless maintain higher throughput over longer distances. If a user moves away from a wireless source while performing real-time streaming video in multiple sessions, the system would accommodate the weaker signal strength and prevent video frames from freezing or dropping.

The company expects to ship its new chipset in the next quarter. WLAN equipment vendors will then need time to incorporate the new functionality into their products. In a best case scenario, compliant devices will begin shipping later this year. As a result, small and medium businesses will have sufficient bandwidth to support even the most demanding video applications.

How much video do you run on your network? How much of bandwidth do these applications require? Will you run them over wireless links?