D-Link Joins MIMO Fray

The Fountain Valley, Calif.-based vendor introduced the D-Link Super G DI-624M Wireless Router and the DWL-650M Wireless CardBus Adapter, both of which include the MIMO signaling technology.

The router will sell for $149.99 and the card will cost $99.99, and both will be available to the channel later this month, said Rocky Rosas, technical marketing engineer for D-Link. General availability to D-Link's retail channels will follow in February, he added.

D-Link joins competitors NetGear, Linksys and others in supporting MIMO, which is different from existing wireless signaling technology in that it uses parallel broadcasting through two radio transmitter and three receiver antennas. This allows the router to send and receive several wireless signals simultaneously, increasing the bandwidth and the range of the wireless connection.

Most wireless networks are using the 802.11b or 802.11g standards, which both operate on the 2.4 GHz radio frequency. As WLANs and home wireless networks are becoming more pervasive, that frequency is getting increasingly crowded with signals. MIMO solves that problem by not only allowing multiple radio transmissions to occur simultaneously, but also using reflective signals that would normally be causing interference to actually help create a stronger signal.

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Rosas said D-Link's MIMO products are different from competing products because of a technology called "Beamforming." D-Link partner Atheros Communications created beamforming, which D-Link is using in its Super G offerings. Rather than just throwing a wireless signal out for clients to find, beamforming targets the client for which a wireless signal is intended, giving the signal better range and performance, he said.

NetGear also claims it will have a similar technology in its RangeMax line of MIMO-supported products, slated to be released this quarter. The technology, called BeamFlex and created by NetGear partner Video54, uses complex algorithms to scan the air and dynamically alter signal directions to maximize the performance of the clients receiving the connections, according to NetGear.

Another differentiator in D-Link's MIMO products is the ability to use the Super G DI-624M Wireless Router with any PC or client that has an 802.11b or 802.11g wireless card and still experience a noticeable performance gain, Rosas said. Typically for MIMO to improve performance, both the router and the client have to be MIMO-enabled, he said. Even with the D-Link products, the bandwidth and range improvements will still be at their best if both the client and the router include MIMO, Rosas added.