Skip to main content

ASUS Rides 802.11ac's 'Wave 2'

ASUS has launched the RT-AC87, claiming it’s the first Wave 2 802.11ac consumer router that uses dual-band spectrum and can pump out speeds up to 1.73 Gbps.

The device, which targets in-home wireless streaming of HD and even higher bit-rate 4K video, is powered by Quantenna’s QSR1000 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output chipset, matched with Universal Beamforming technology that aims to maximize the router’s wireless range or boost the performance of older 802.11a/b/g/n clients, the companies said.

“As the number of wireless devices in the home increases, so does the importance of Wi-Fi quality,” said Margaret Chen, president of ASUS Computer International’s Open Platform Business (OPBG) Group for ASUS Computer International.

ASUS said it will begin to sell the product in North America “shortly” for an estimated MSRP of $269.99.

Outside of the retail sphere, Cable operators are looking to 802.11ac technology to feed high-quality video to IP clients from a primary gateway, setting it up as a wireless complement to wire-based high-speed technologies such as MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance). Service providers that use gear outfitted with Quantenna silicon include AT&T, DirecTV, Swisscom, Telefonica and Belgacom.

Quantenna shed light its 802.11ac chip for gateways and other home networking devices in May, claiming then that it would support usable throughputs of up to 1.3 Gbps – not far off from the chip’s PHY layer throughputs of 1.7 Gbps -- with beamforming techniques can keep the speed relatively consistent even as it blasts through walls and other obstructions.

In April, Quantenna talked up plans for more advanced WiFi technology that could pump out up to 10 Gbps using an 8x8 MU-MIMO architecture. Those chips aren’t expected out until sometime next year.