WLAN innovation relentless
While the impact of China's decision to opt for an encryption scheme that is incompatible
with IEEE 802.11 standards has yet to be fully ascertained, it does not overshadow the rampant
innovation sprouting from startups and established wireless-LAN players alike. From multiple-input,
multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology, which is expected to form the foundation of the next
generation of WLANs now being developed under 802.11n, to mesh networks and the management of
the RF environment, there is much to discuss beyond the potential impact of China's decision.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.