Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless News

Broadcom logoBroadcom introduced a 4x4 MU-MIMO version of its XStream Wi-Fi platform at Computex 2015.

This week's Computex 2015 show in Taipei is a forum where a lot of deals get done with the OEM and ODMs that manufacture most of the consumer networking gear you buy from better known companies like Linksys, NETGEAR and D-Link. Chipmakers want to be designed into those new products, so they typically trot out new devices at the show.

Broadcom took the opportunity to debut its 8-Stream 5G WiFi XStream MU-MIMO platform. The new platform was actually revealed at CES 2015 in the form of D-Link's DIR-895L/R AC5300 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router. D-Link may need to rename that router soon, since Broadcom's release specs a "5.4 Gbps aggregate PHY rate".

D-Link DIR-895L/R

D-Link DIR-895L/R

This is not an 8x8 solution, but basically a 4x4 MU-MIMO enabled version of Broadcom's "tri-band" XStream architecture that has two 5 GHz radios, one 2.4 GHz and "Smart Connect" logic to steer low and high "speed" clients to appropriate radios to optimize total throughput.

To keep things interesting, the company also threw in non-standard "1024 NitroQAM", i.e. 1024-QAM modulation support, to push maximum 5 GHz link rates up to 2165 Mbps and 2.4 GHz to 1000 Mbps. The quoted 5.4 Gbps PHY rate comes from 2165 Mbps +2165 Mbps +1000 Mbps = 5330 Mbps with a generous rounding up to the 5400 Mbps total. There's no magic here that will achieve a 5.4 Gbps maximum link rate in any single Wi-Fi connection.

All these big numbers are intended to impress, but you won't be able to achieve them with any actual clients other than a matching router in bridge mode. Broadcom didn't announce any 4x4 1024 NitroQAM enabled client devices, not is it likely to ever do so. Mobile devices simply don't have the room or power budget to support them.

Like the original XStream announcement, today's release likes to refer to total numbers to make things look larger. The "pentacore" processor (singular) is actually a BCM47094 1.4 GHz Dual core ARM Cortex-A9 host processor plus an 800 MHz A7 CPU in each of three BCM4366 4x4 radios.

The "eight stream capability at 5 GHz" is the total of the two 4-stream 5 GHz radios. And one wonders what device will use the "4 stream capability at 2.4 GHz". At least Broadcom didn't claim MU-MIMO operation in 2.4 GHz, but that may not be far behind.

The most practical aspect of this new architecture is that it provides two methods of optimizing total wireless throughput: Smart Connect and MU-MIMO. Smart Connect can help boost total throughput today because it works with any Wi-Fi device, while MU-MIMO can help once MU-MIMO enabled devices become more widely available later this year.

Broadcom said the new devices are sampling now. But with D-Link's router already announced and nice words from NETGEAR and ASUS in today's press release, more AC5300/AC5400 routers won't be far behind. In fact, Broadcom's announcement included a "Powering routers available in Q3 2015" bullet.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

I have used the Apple AirPort Time Capsule for many years and loved their seamless integration with OS X and the ability to store music files on the d...
Hey, total newb to networking and wanting to dip my toe in it with a little project. I would like to set up a network that would use NFC to authentica...
Hi everyone,I wonder if anyone can help?My scenario:Hardware used: Draytek Vigor 2860 VDSL router, TP-Link EAP115 Access points. DL-Link 24 port manag...
ac3100 merlin 384.7_2 plus apps: diversion skynet stubby using 3x2.ssid lan.qos 24.clientswhat is preventing me from disabling my firewall and/or savi...
I am getting slow gigabit speeds through my RT-86U router. I have Centurylink gigabit connection through PPPOE. Speeds I am getting rarely top out ove...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3