Cisco Systems Inc.s Linksys division last week announced new Wi-Fi hardware that offers throughput and data transfer rates that rival Fast Ethernet, albeit with proprietary technology.
The WRT54GX4 Wireless-G Broadband Router and WPC54GX4 Wireless-G PC Card are based on the third generation of MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) chip sets from Airgo Networks Inc. The chip sets can support data rates of up to 240M bps, with "real world" TCP/IP throughput rates huddling around 120M bps, according to Airgo officials in Palo Alto, Calif.
"The cool thing about this generation is that its not just for notebooks anymore," said Greg Raleigh, CEO of Airgo. "You can connect your desktops and do away with the Ethernet."
MIMO technology runs multiple data streams in a single channel to boost throughput to rates of up to 108M bps, which is double that of the maximum speeds of 802.11a and 802.11g. Some variant of MIMO will be at the heart of the upcoming IEEE 802.11n standard.
Potential customers say that support from Linksys helps ease the fear of nonstandard technology.
"If it was a little no-name company pushing a product out there that didnt conform to standards, I wouldnt buy it at all, but since its Linksys/Cisco, I suspect that MIMO will ... at least become something the market has to accommodate," said Steve Durst, co-founder of Skaion Corp., a computer security consultancy in Chelmsford, Mass.