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The Arrival of Mega MIMO 2.0

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The Arrival of Mega MIMO 2.0We tend not to think about wireless interference often, because, to be honest, we don’t see it. Considering the amount of wireless routers out there, in every home, office place, and public place, maybe we should give it a little more thought. A few enterprise researchers have discovered a way to get all of these competing wireless routers on the same page. MIT’s Computer Science and Artifical Intelligence Labratory call this idea MIMO 2.0 (Multiple Input, Multiple Output), claim some amazing improvements to the standard MIMO design; tripled data transfer speeds and a network range that has nearly doubled.

MIT created a technique to let multiple routers work together and send multiple streams of data to multiple destinations without the streams ever crossing, by aligning the phase of the transmissions. If you’d like to read more on the science behind this new discovery, Real-time Distribution MIMO Systems will be presented next week at SIGCOMM.

“In today’s wireless world, you can’t solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another,” said MIT grad student and lead author Ezzeldin Hamed. “The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum.”

“Wi-Fi is a mature technology, but it’s still evolving,” said Jacob Sharony, principal consultant at Mobius Consulting, who has also studied MIMO. “This is a breakthrough in increasing the capacity of wireless networks many folds. The beauty is that we can still improve, and expect to see much higher capacities by using new architectures like this.”

The first incarnation of MIMO was single user, where one router would be connected to one device. MIMO Wave 2 allowed multiple routers to connect to multiple devices. The interest in MIMO has grown in the past few years with the increase in the number of mobile devices. Research in the past has shown that the ability to sync distributed transmitters and allow them to transmit simultaneously to multiple receivers without interference.

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