What You Need to Know About 802.11ay

November 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Products for 802.11ad have only begun hitting the market in the past year, and already the IEEE is working on improvements in the form of 802.11ay. This new and improved standard will expand upon 802.11ad technology by delivering faster and longer-range Wi-Fi networks. Expected to be released in late 2019, 802.11ay will increase bandwidth and improve the reliability and robustness of the unlicensed 60GHz millimeter wave spectrum. It will be designed to improve throughput, range and use-cases.

 

The next generation wireless standard promises significant improvements upon the 7 Gbps speed and 10-meter distance capabilities of 802.11ad. 802.11ay will be capable of transmission rates of 20 to 30 Gbps and distances of 30 meters with 11ay-to-11ay device setups. When channel bonding, MIMO and additional capabilities are added into the mix, it’s possible that 802.11ay will deliver speeds closer to 200 Gbps and extend transmission distances up to 300 meters.

  

As an amendment for improving the performance of the 802.11ad standard, 802.11ay will support the same broad applications and be backward compatible with the 802.11ad standard. 802.11ay will focus on new applications for mobile offloading, wireless docking and display connectivity. It will also be ideal for fixed point-to-point or point-to-multipoint outdoor backhaul applications. 802.11ay might also be used in internal mesh and backbone networks, to provide connectivity to VR headsets, support server backups and manage cloud applications that require low latency. The main targets for 802.11ay are DisplayPort, HDMI and USB connectivity, fast synch as well as short-range, high-bandwidth connectivity to TV and monitor displays. It could even act as a replacement for HDMI and USB and make the equipment more intuitive.

 

802.11ay is primed to pack a punch with super-charged 20 Gig speeds and greater transmission distance. This revolutionary IEEE standard will surely break records and set the standard for future wireless technology.

 

Technical Oddities

October 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

From zombies and vampires to witches and werewolves, it’s the time of year when we celebrate the spooky, strange and weird. In the spirit of Halloween, we are also going to take a moment to highlight some technical oddities. Here are some strange, or strangely wonderful, inventions in the world of tech.

 

1.       Tail-Wagging Robot Pillow

 

Love the idea of having a pet, but don’t want to deal with the feeding, walking, fur or any of the other responsibilities that go along with having a pet? Now there’s an invention for you! The tail-wagging robot pillow is soft and fluffy, it will sit on your lap and even wag its tail when you pet it. Perfect for people with allergies or who live in small spaces, or those who just want the comfort of a pet without the list of to-dos that normally go along with owning one.

 

 

 

2.       Robotic Exoskeletons

 

Initially, exoskeletons were meant to help with rehabilitation for people with a damaged or lost limb or other limiting injury. The next generation of robotic exoskeletons are going beyond that by promising superhuman abilities like being able to lift a car. There is also the possibility of military exoskeletons that would give enhanced abilities to troops in combat, such as bulletproof body armor and enhanced strength to carry more powerful weapons and navigate through treacherous terrain.

 

 

 

3.       Speakerhat

 

When earbuds or headphones won’t do the trick, now there is the speakerhat. This modern-day reinvention of the boom box is a baseball cap with Bluetooth speakers embedded in the brim of the hat. Not only will you be able to look cool in your new tech accessory, you can walk around with your own personal soundtrack blaring from the speakers.

 

  

 

4.       Facial Scanners that Stop Toilet Paper Theft

 

You might not consider toilet paper theft to be a real issue, but apparently it was at a temple in Beijing, China. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Chinese capital found that toilet paper theft had become a substantial cost as they were buying thousands of rolls of paper every month. To combat this issue, they installed facial recognition scanners that dispense a certain amount of toilet paper and store the person’s face in a temporary data base. If that same face returns for more toilet paper within nine minutes from their previous visit, it will not dispense any more paper. Toilet paper caper, solved!

 


 

5.       App to Stop SUI (Shopping Under the Influence)

 

Many have done it, few like to admit it – the late night act of online shopping after having too many adult beverages. What seems like a good idea at night, can prove to be a mistake in the morning. Fortunately, now there’s an app that blocks your credit cards for 12 hours if you’re over the alcohol limit. You may want to download this app before you wake up to a shipping confirmation for a box full of buyer’s remorse.

 

Case Study: Biometric ID

October 12, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Once a fictional storyline in a sci-fi movie, biometric identification is now very much a reality and a growing industry. Biometric identification allows people to be uniquely identified by the evaluation of one or more distinguishing biological traits. This can include fingerprints, hand geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and DNA.

 

One of our customers is a manufacturer of core technology, products and solutions for the biometric identification industry. They make security and identity products such as fingerprint scanners, readers, access controls and locks. These products are used by companies in the finance, transportation, telecommunications and government sectors.

 

This customer had a unique request for a custom, dual-band, PCB-style, Omni-directional antenna for an application involving a wireless, handheld, point-of-sale (POS) payment system. The antenna also needed to meet their cost requirements, be compact in size and provide reliable wireless coverage for their OEM application.

 

To meet our customer’s needs, L-com designed a Omni-directional 2.4/5.8 GHz, 3/5 dBi PCB antenna with a 3-inch micro-coaxial lead terminated with a U.FL-style RF connector. This antenna featured double-coated tissue tape so it could be easily secured in place.

 

Our custom antenna not only met the customer’s requirements, but we were able to manufacture it faster than and our competitor could, meeting the customer’s critical delivery time frame.

 

To read the full case study, click here.

 

411 on DAS

September 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

If you’ve ever lost your cellular signal in a building that you thought would be covered by your cellular network, you probably would have appreciated the help of a distributed antenna system (DAS). Today’s construction techniques and materials block or weaken internal and external wireless communication signals inside buildings. Blocked radio and cellular reception isn’t only a nuisance for consumers, it can be detrimental to public safety and hinder first responders in an emergency situation. Thus, distributed antenna systems were designed to counteract those effects and extend wireless coverage within structures to allow radios and cell phones to work everywhere within the building.

 

A distributed antenna system uses several small antennas, as opposed to one antenna, to provide wireless coverage and eliminate spots of poor coverage inside a large building. These antennas serve as repeaters and provide reliable coverage within the structure, without requiring much additional power. They provide voice and data services, just like a cellular tower would, without any noticeable difference to mobile device reception. Any densely populated indoor space is a good candidate for DAS deployment, such as shopping malls, medical centers and high-rise buildings. Distributed antenna networks also provide wireless coverage to hotels, subways, airports, hospitals, businesses, roadway tunnels and more. In addition to indoor use, a DAS can be designed to extend wireless coverage for outdoor use. Distributed antenna systems typically provide wireless services that include PCS, cellular, Wi-Fi, police, fire and emergency services.

 

A DAS often uses RF directional couplers and/or wireless amplifiers to split and amplify the wireless signal from the source to the distributed antennas. In many cases, a DAS will use a combination of low-loss coaxial cabling as well as fiber optic cabling to support radio-over-fiber (RoF) technology and distribute the wireless signals to the antennas. The antennas are physically connected to a central controller, which is then connected to the wireless carrier network’s base station. At least one carrier network must be involved with a DAS deployment because the systems operate on the RF spectrum, which is licensed to wireless carriers.

 

Distributed antenna systems can be passive or active. A passive DAS grabs cellular signals from roof antennas and runs them through leaky feeder cables that distribute the signal throughout the building. An active DAS passes the signal from the roof antennas through fiber cables, boosting and amplifying the signals as needed.

 

Deploying DAS is the most expensive aspect of the project, as it can be very labor intensive to install the antennas and run cables between antenna modules and the controller. Usually, the carrier network manages the cost and maintenance of the DAS system, as long as it aligns with their network plan and fills a significant gap in service. Responsibility for a distributed antenna system may be shared by multiple carriers to keep costs down.

 

Wired and Wireless Networks for the Energy Industry

September 14, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

The energy industry is getting a lot of attention these days with more people talking about how we can better harness and use energy. Here, we’ll look at the energy industry and how all sectors, including oil, gas and renewable sources, are using wired and wireless networks to connect their operations.

 

Oil and Gas

 

Offshore oil platforms are exposed to water, salt, vibration and extreme temperatures. Although in many cases the communications equipment used on these rigs are housed in protective enclosures some equipment must be located in exposed areas where they are subject to environmental extremes. This includes IP cameras used for surveillance of the platform, plus the cabling and converters that link back to the central control room on the rig. Wireless sensors and controllers are also located throughout the platform and are linked by outdoor antennas, amplifiers and access points used to operate the rig.

 

In petroleum refineries, wired and wireless sensors are used to monitor and control process applications and provide real-time data that can warn of system issues. Many valves and controllers are linked to a serial or IP network, as well as security and surveillance equipment that are critical to operations.

 

Natural gas pipelines depend on communications networks to monitor the safety and efficiency of the pipeline, which can span hundreds of miles over harsh terrain and in remote areas. These networks allow for real-time data to be sent to the control room that can detect leaks and issues with pressure and temperature. IP based surveillance systems along the pipeline also require network connectivity to provide added protection.

 

Renewable Energy

 

Solar energy networks use wired and wireless connectivity for long distance control and monitoring of solar panel arrays. For example, serial data cables connect to the power meters on the panel, theses power meters are then connected to the Ethernet network via a device server and antennas wirelessly connect the power meters back to the control center for monitoring and control.

 

Hydroelectric power has modernized operations by implementing automated systems in hydroelectric plants. Many of these systems use Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to control valves, motor starters, sensors and flood gate control systems that are critical to operations. Other systems use wireless networks to monitor and control the plant. Surveillance and security systems are also important in these plants to not only monitor for intruders, but also to visually analyze the dam and plant and watch for structural breakdown.

 

Monitoring wind turbines also requires wired and wireless networks. An industrial Ethernet switch allows signals to be sent to the turbine that change its speed and angle. Fiber optic cables connect the control center to multiple turbines over long distances for complete control of the wind farm and antennas are used to connect the local control center to a main control network.  

 

For more details on how wired and wireless technology is powering the energy industry, and how L-com’s products are being used, download our energy industry overview.

 

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