Airgo Networks Inc. is counting on enterprise users to favor speed over standards with its push to attract licensees for new prestandard MIMO chip sets.
Airgo officials said the company next quarter will announce a new line of multiple input, multiple output chip sets and at least one enterprise-level licensee. While initial adopters of Airgos prestandard technology have thus far been limited to SOHO (small office/home office) vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc.s Linksys division and SOHOware Inc., the tide is turning, according to Greg Raleigh, CEO of Airgo, in Palo Alto, Calif.
"[The enterprise is] definitely very open to it now," said Raleigh. "A year ago, they were not so open. Our competitors have offered countermessages that have attenuated our basic point of view—that theres nothing to lose by shipping the MIMO products before 802.11n."
MIMO technology runs multiple data streams in a single channel to boost throughput to rates of as much as 108M bps, double that of the maximum speed for 802.11a and 802.11g.
Some variant of MIMO will be at the heart of the upcoming IEEE 802.11n standard, but ratification of that standard isnt expected until the second half of next year.
On the client side, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. earlier this month announced that it will use Airgo chip sets in upcoming versions of its X20 and X25 notebooks, which currently use the competing Centrino chip set from Intel Corp.
For the enterprise, the choice comes down to the immediate need for speed.
"Going from 54 to 100[M bps] I dont think will make a big difference to garden-variety users, so Id wait until a mature standard emerges," said Jorge Abellas-Martin, CIO of Arnold Worldwide, which has headquarters in Boston, and an eWEEK Corporate Partner.