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Wireless Networks

The Next Means of IoT Device Charging: Wifi?

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The Next Means of IoT Device Charging: Wifi?

Researchers at the University of Washington propose wifi can do more than simply wirelessly connect devices to networks and the internet-- it might also be able to charge device through "Power over Wifi" (PoWiFi).

The system consist of two components, namely an access point (or router) and specially-built sensors. The access point features custom software allowing it to simultaneously act as power delivery source and wifi router, while the sensors harvest RF power and convert it into DC power.

Admittedly wifi signals carry a limited amount of power-- 1W to be precise, making it unsuitable with smartphones but still ideal for the small connected devices making the Internet of Things (IoT). As such the researchers have used PoWiFi to power a small camera located 5m away from a router, as well as charge a fitness charger and temperature sensors.

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Broadcomm Announces 5G Wifi Wave 2

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Broadcomm Announces 5G Wifi Wave 2

Broadcom launches the 5G Wifi Wave 2 solutions portfolio for enterprise wireless access points, with new chipsets including the BCM43465 (4x4 11ac MU-MIMO) and BCM43525 (3x3 11ac MU-MIMO).

The company claims the BCM43465 is the first to support 2.2Gbps and four concurrent MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) devices, providing the enterprise market with the highest density of client support.

Further boosting performance is the use of 160MHz, allowing devices to fully utilise available bandwidth, as well as NitroQAM 1024-QAM technology (promises 25% throughput boost over 802.11ac's 256-QAM) and the Advanced Spectrum Capture Engine (AsCE) identifying and adjusting against non-wifi interference.

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IDC: WLAN Growth Slows Down

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IDC: WLAN Growth Slows Down

According to IDC the global WLAN market shows an incremental growth decrease in Q4 2014, as the combined consumer and enterprise market segments show 7% Y-o-Y growth.

The consumer WLAN market is up by 6.5% Y-o-Y in Q4 2014, a "slight" increase over the 5.6% Y-o-Y growth of Q3 2014 as the transition from the older 802.11n standard to the faster 802.11ac drives shipments across all geographies. As a result global consumer 802.11ac WLAN revenues grow by 155.6% Y-o-Y, while shipments are up by 206.6%.

EMEA shows impressive 802.11ac shipment revenue growth of 479.2% Y-o-Y.

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The Active Steering Wifi Chip

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The Active Steering Wifi Chip

Antenna maker Ethertronics launches the EtherChip EC482-- the first RF device from the company featuring Active Steering "beam steering" technology for wifi and other MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) 5GHz applications.

Beam steering involves the generation of multiple signals from a single antenna. A combination of algorithms and RF signal monitoring predicts the optimal signal for use in the current situation, with the EC482 chip acting as master controller.

As the company puts the process provides "revolutionary improvements in range, data throughput and signal quality," as well as "interference reduction, robustness in multipath environments, improved connection reliability and better spectral efficiency."

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Bluetooth Reaches Version 4.2

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Bluetooth Reaches Version 4.2

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announces Bluetooth core specification version 4.2-- an update featuring improvements on security and speed, as well as an IP connectivity-enabling profile.

“Bluetooth 4.2 is all about continuing to make Bluetooth Smart the best solution to connect all the technology in your life-- from personal sensors to your connected home," the SIG says. "In addition to the improvements to the specification itself, a new profile known as IPSP enables IPv6 for Bluetooth, opening entirely new doors for device connectivity.”

On the security front Bluetooth 4.2 should make it harder for eavesdroppers (such as Apple's iBeacons) to track devices without direct user permission. It also promises to transfer data up to 2.5 times faster than previous versions, with reductions in both transmission errors and power consumption.

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