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Intel jumps on 802.11ac bandwagon

by on03 July 2013

Still not in notebooks

Intel is finally getting ready to launch its 802.11ac notebook card and jump the 5G Wireless bandwagon. One of the main issues for notebooks today is that most of them support the 802.11n standard that can get you as high as 450Mbps with multiple antennas, but only a fraction of that number will be the real life speed.

The 802.11ac standard with Intel's implementation gets you to 867Mbps on 802.11ac networks and 300Mbps on 802.11n networks. If you combine these two numbers you get the 1.167Gbps marketing number, but in reality you use either 802.11ac or 802.11n, not both at the same time.

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 is the name of the card and it is a PCIe half mini card form factor that weighs just 4 grams. It has a 2x2 antenna setup and supports both crowded 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands, delivering 300Mbit for 802.11n and 867 Mbits for 802.11ac networks. Let's not forget that 802.11ac uses 80MHz channels, while 802.11n uses 20MHz or 40MHz and that AC 7260 card comes with Bluetooth 4.0 support.

The Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 supports both PCIe and USB system interface and will come with some future notebooks. So far we are not aware that anyone uses it, but we are confident that these cards will end up in some of the more expensive models of Intel based notebooks.

It is interesting to note that 802.11ac is already in use by some top phones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 phones, including the very popular HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

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