In the Telco industry, the IEEE is better known as the organization that oversees the development of 802 standards and maintains Local Area Networks (LAN) and Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) running smoothly but the non-profit organization oversees projects in other industries as well.
The first wave of 802.11ac routers currently available on the market are based on earlier drafts of the 802.11ac standard and will no longer be the fastest standard on the market. The second wave of 802.11ac devices are based on the final ratified standard and are set to include new features that better optimize wireless networks.
802.11ac standard: Wave 1 vs. Wave 2
802.11ac https://www.networkcomputing.com/wireless-infrastructure/80211ac-wi-fi-part-2-wave-1-and-wave-2-products/d/d-id/1234650 Wave 2 is set to include MU-MIMO capabilities among other advances that will give routers a speed boost from the original 3.47 Gbps in first generation to 6.93 Gbps in the final iteration of the standard.MU-MIMO or Multiple-user multiple input/multiple output “enables [routers] to send multiple spatial streams to multiple clients simultaneously”. With 160 MHz channel bonding (as opposed to 80 Mhz bonding over wave 1) and backwards compatibility with previous standards, the new standard boasts a performance boost over the first generation of 802.11ac routers. With a physical link rate of nearly 7 Gbps, users hoping to upgrade to 802.11ac should consider waiting to catch the second wave.
Market TrendsDell’Oro Group has published a report that notes that the “Wireless LAN (WLAN) market grew eight percent in the third quarter 2014 versus the year-ago period” and that “Enterprise-class 802.11ac-based radio access points grew a robust 40 percent versus the second quarter 2014.”
The report forecasts that the WLAN market will be stimulated with the release of 802.11ac Wave 2 equipment along with government funding in the US meant to support wireless connectivity in schools and libraries.
802.11axBut even the second generation of the 802.11ac standard cannot compare with the wireless speeds of a still newer specification. The 802.11ax standard is set to “not just increase the overall speed of a network”but to “quadruple wireless speeds of individual clients.” Huawei’s research and development labs , have reported to successfully reach wireless connections speeds of 10 Gbps utilizing the 5GHz frequency band. The standard is set to be finalized in 2019, but manufacturers can be expected to release products based on the pre-standard as early as 2016. While wireless connections keep getting faster, the options for internet users to connect to the internet keep expanding. In the near future, users can be expected to connect to the internet using LED lights, or gain wireless access to the internet by connecting to a micro-satellite orbiting the Earth. Do you find this article useful? Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news on networking and telecommunications.
In the near-future, you may find yourself looking for the nearest LED light to connect the internet.Researcher Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh has made it possible to transform LED light into an electrical signal that can provide high-speed data streaming. This means that pedestrians walking down a street illuminated with LED lights could very well be able to surf the internet without interruptions. Public infrastructure like hospitals, police stations, and libraries that utilize LED as their primary light source could easily be able to provide internet users with Li-Fi connections.
Researcher Harald Haas who works from the Alexander Graham Building states that “All the components, all the mechanisms exist already…You just have to put them together and make them work”. If his optimism proves true, you might be searching for the nearest Li-Fi hotspot to connect to the internet.
During the IEEE Phototonics Conference this past October, members of the consortium were able to “create a system that could both send and receive data at aggregate rates of 100 megabits per second. When transmitting in one direction only, they reached a rate of 155Mb/S. [They have also] created a better LED, which provides a data rate close to 4 gigabits per second operating on just 5 milliwatts of optical output power and using high-bandwidth photodiodes at the receiver.”
In his 2011 Ted Talk, the researcher highlights that we “have more than five billion [mobile devices]… [and] transmit more than 600 terabytes of data every month”. Since radio waves are scarce and expensive, the researcher suggests migrating to the visible light spectrum for wireless communication. The visible light spectrum is several times wider than the radio wave spectrum and would allow Li-Fi to offer faster connections than Wi-Fi.
These advancements however, do not entail that Li-Fi will replace Wi-Fi technology. The new technology comes with limitations. Physical barriers that block a direct light source can interfere with a connection and wireless communication in the dark is practically impossible.
The accelerated performance of Li-Fi exhibits the same downsides that 802.11ad wireless connections experiences–both modes of connections are fast but experience a limited physical range of a few meters. Therefore, Li-Fi will work alongside with Wi-Fi networks in the same way that 802.11ad wireless connections will work in conjunction with 802.11n connections.
IEEE spectrum reveals that “Haas…expects LEDs to evolve past just being light sources, much the same way the cell phone evolved from a communications device to a mobile computer. “In 25 years, every light bulb in your house will have the processing power of your cell phone today,” he says. Haas envisions that illumination will just be one of the many features that LED will offer.
It seems that the future of the internet will bring a myriad of ways to connect to the internet. Elon Musk announced just last week that his latest endeavor includes launching satellites that will provide “unfettered internet access to the masses”.
Would you utilize an LED internet connection?
Let us know what you think! Leave us a comment below.
2.5Gbps and 5GbpsIn order to keep up with the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds that can have a throughput of up to 1Gb/s, proponents see a market for enterprises that want to avoid bottlenecks but don’t quite want to upgrade to 10-Gigabit Ethernet. 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet, also known as Multirate Gigabit BASE-T (MGBASE-T), is the sweet spot for enterprises that do not wish to overhaul their networks with new cable.
25 Gbps and 50 GbpsAs cloud computing continues to grow, the strain on datacenters has influenced members to rethink how scaling will occur in the future. Networking specialists are expecting for datacenters to outgrow the previously defined 40Gb Ethernet, comprised of 10Gb Ethernet lanes, and are seeking to revamp efforts to make 25Gb Ethernet the scalable building block that can then be used to build 50Gb Ethernet. The project is currently led by the 25G Ethernet Consortium formed by Google after IEEE showed a short-lived reluctance to move forward with the project .
400 GbpsCore networks are also scheduled to get a speed boost by 2017 with a 400-Gigabit Ethernet standard underway that is expected to use 50Gbps or 100Gbps lanes. Presenters discussed “if the single-mode solution will use 8 wavelengths at 50Gbps or 4 wavelengths at 100Gbps…Another hot 400GbE topic is the CDAUI (8X50Gbps) electrical signaling that is pushing the limits of existing SERDES technologies”. The EA is burdened with the duty of choosing the specifications that will make this bleeding edge technology reliable. Do you think these standards will future-proof servers? Let us know what you think! Leave us a comment below.
IEEE’s nomenclature of the 802 standard is not the most logical to navigate. April Miller, Technology Columnist for nwitimes.org’s Bits and Bytes stresses how the system does not even follow basic arithmetic rules. For example, the 802.1 standard is not to be confused with the 802.10 standard, even though the numbers share the same mathematical value.
A simple perusal of IEEE’s current working study groups reveals groups named with the same repeated values but which are only discernible by name. Online sources claim that IEEE based the 802 number on the year (1980) that they began working on the standards and the February month (2) to choose the name of the project. But IEEE claims that “The project number, 802, was simply the next number in the sequence being issued by the IEEE for standards projects”.Since then, IEEE’s 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee has become a prominent authority figure that has created the protocols that govern the specifications for the physical layers and data link layers of the OSI reference model in local area Networks (LAN) and Metropolitan-Area Networks (MAN). The ratification of the 802.11 standard in 1997 (one of the most widely-used sub-standards for WLAN’s) along with the decreasing costs of Wi-Fi equipment, helped popularize the adoption of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN’s) in schools, businesses and homes. Prior to the ratification, vendors manufactured wireless equipment based on proprietary technology that did not necessarily guarantee interoperability with other products. The following list, courtesy of nwitimes.org, arranges the permutations of the 802.11 standard by ratification data, frequency, maximum speed and indoor range:
While the standards are usually backwards compatible, routers will be labeled as 802.11a/b/g to indicate backwards compatibility. But it’s also important to not assume that a higher speed router, such as an 802.11ac router, will accelerate the speed of a connection with a computer that has an 802.11n Wi-Fi card. Do you think the IEEE needs a better system to name their standards? Let us know what you think! Leave us a comment below.
The rapid innovation of independent developments that pertain to the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a deluge of smart devices that cannot communicate with each other. In a report from computerworld.com, Dr. Julian Goldman, Director of Medical Device Interoperability at Massachusetts General Hospital confirms that this trend is consistent among medical ‘smart’ devices as well. She highlights that “If we don't look at the lessons today in health care, the Internet of Things is not going to be an Internet of Things, it's going to be a pile of things". As a result, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has recently announced that its P2413 study group will be adding some much-needed structure to a market that Cisco predicts will hit 50 billion connected devices by 2020.
The IEEE project will focus on “promoting cross-domain interaction, aid system interoperability, functional compatibility, and further fuel the growth of the IoT market. The adoption of a unified approach to the development of IoT systems will reduce industry fragmentation and create a critical mass of multi-stakeholder activities around the world.” The non-profit institution has been able to pave the way for effective innovation and has been successful in setting the standards that ensure the reliable production of novel technology. The IEEE is most noted in the networking industry for defining the PoE standards that anticipate the growing needs of expanding networks. The IEEE is the perfect candidate to bring order to the chaos that the IoT world is currently experiencing. ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) are just some of the participating organizations among 23 vendors and organizations that will help IEEE reach its goal by 2016. The joint effort will create the specifications that will oversee the stages of research and development, production and market distribution. But if you wish to take the Internet of Things into you own hands, LittleBits offers an alternative that allows you to create a smart home at an entry-level price. Littlebits encourages everyday users to take part of the ‘hardware revolution” and its newest kit, CloudBits, offers prototyping lego-like pieces that users can utilize to connect the ordinary electronics to the internet and convert them into smart apparatuses. The scattered developments are a testament to the DIY culture and entrepreneurial environment that the internet has spawned. But with closed-circuited gadgets that function independently, the decentralized user-experience makes it difficult for consumers to seamlessly adopt new smart devices. Ben Kauffman, founder of Quirky, comments that “The Internet of things is still for hackers, early adopters and rich people,” and has founded a sister company, Wink, in an attempt to bring a centralized platform to efficiently operate the Internet of all Things under one mobile application. Do you think the IEEE will set the IoT world on the correct path? Let us know what you think! Start a discussion below.
It’s been said that the internet has made the world smaller. But without the proper tribe to disseminate it, stagnant information can disappear into the ethers of cyberspace data, never again to be seen. Hence in the midst of our culture’s “information glut”, conferences more than ever function as an essential part of centralizing a community around relevant information. This is truer in none other but the field of technology which is advancing at an exponential rate. The conferences led by IEEE will play an even bigger and more important role in curating, archiving, and assigning a hierarchy to the information that is generated.For years, IEEE’s global conference has facilitated the conversation between scientists, researchers, and engineers by showcasing the most relevant and innovative breakthroughs of the year. The organization has just announced that it has opened registration for its 2014 Globecom Conference scheduled for December 8-12. Entitled “The Great State of Communications”, the conference will be hosted in Austin, Texas also known as “Silicon Hills” for its high concentration of tech companies. The event will host about “1,500 presentations detailing the latest breakthroughs in key areas like e-Health, Internet of Things (IoT), game theory, power-line, satellite, space, green and 5G cellular networking communications.” According to IEEE, “Each year the conference attracts about 3,000 submitted scientific papers and dozens of proposals for the industry’s event. A technical program committee of more than 1,500 experts provides more than 10,000 reviews, and from this, a small fraction of the submitted papers are accepted for publication and presentation at the conference.” Its Industry Forum & Exhibition Program (IF&E) will be discussing topics pertaining to “broadband, wireless, multimedia, data, image and voice communications”. The IEEE boasts a roster of more than 400,000 members from across the world and has set the guidelines that propagate state-of-the-art technology. Austin Mayor Leffingwell lauds Silicon Hills as a city that fosters the growth of job opportunities and asserts that it is the “second best city in the country for job growth” as ranked by Forbes. Do you think Silicon Hills is a true Silicon Valley Rival? Let us know what you think!