Wireless & Internet Tech

Wifi Gets Fourth Revision

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IEEE publishes the latest revision of the 802.11 wifi standard, IEEE 802.11-2012-- with revisions promising improved connections, greater security and smoother handoffs between wifi and mobile networks.

IEEE wifiThe 4th revision since 1997, 802.11-2012 consolidates the 10 amendments to the base standards approved in the 2007 revision. These include 802.11n (defines MAC and PHY modifications to enable throughputs of up to 600MB/s), direct-link setup, "fast roam," radio resource measurement, operation in the 3650-3700MHz band, vehicular environments, mesh networking, security, broadcast/multicast and unicast data delivery, interworking with external networks and network management.

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EC Consultation on Internet of Things

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The European Commission (EC) opens a consultation process on regulations regarding wireless connected devices and the internet of things, as part the Digital Agenda for Europe.

internet of thingsApparently the EC wants to start working on the framework required to "unlock the economic and societal benefits of the internet of things," together with control on the gathering, processing and storage of data by devices.

According the commission the average citizen owns at least 2 internet-connected devices-- a figure to reach 7 by 2015. The commission also says the global number of wirelessly connected devices will double to 50 billion by 2020.

The consultation seeks opinions on privacy, safety and security, security of critical IoT supported infrastructure, ethics, interoperability, governance and standards. One can participate by clicking the link below.

Go Digital Agenda Internet of Things Consultation

Intel Integrates Wifi in Processors

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Intel shows off a breakthrough in making faster and more energy efficient wifi-- integrating a 2.4GHz wifi radio and a dual-core Atom processor on the same chip, codenamed "Rosepoint."

RosepointThe chip was seen at the 2012 IEEE Solid-State Cicuits Conference (ISSCC), San Francisco.

The wifi radio inside Rosepoint is digital RF, and uses only 2 voltage levels. The chip itself is built using a 32nm process, and Intel tells Wired Magazine it brings Moore's Law to the world of RF and radio circuits.

The integrated wifi technology will not hit the market until a few years, and Intel is already working on a version carrying a cellular radio and a built-in antenna. Such technology can result in the more energy efficient internet-connected devices of the future.

Wireless radio and CPUs do not make ideal partners-- radiation from a CPU corrupts data the RF module is receiving, while radio waves mess with microprocessors. The wifi radio and the Atom processor also happen to operate using similar frequencies, demanding the use of noise cancelling and radiation-shielding.

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Cisco Projects 18X Global Mobile Internet Growth

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According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, WW mobile internet traffic is set to grow by 18x in the 2011-2016 period-- reaching 10.8 exabytes monthly (or 130 exabytes yearly) by 2016. 

mobile internetThe company also projects 2016 mobile cloud traffic will account for 71% (7.6 exabytes) of total monthly mobile data traffic. In comparison, 2011 mobile cloud traffic totals 269 petabytes monthly (45%). 

Fueling such growth is the growth in mobile internet use for web surfing, internet access, video calling and GPS/location services. The report says there will be over 8 billion handheld mobile-ready devices and around 2BN machine-to-machine connections (such as GPS and asset tracking systems) by 2016. 

Cisco predicts such growth will drive mobile service providers to withdraw unlimited "all you can eat" data plans, moving instead towards tiered or value-based pricing. More providers will also start offloading traffic to fixed/wifi networks. 

Go Cisco Visual Networking Index

Squeezing Out More Bandwidth By Twisting Radio Waves

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As data traffic grows at an increasingly rapid pace, wireless bandwidth is fast becoming a precious commodity. Enter Italian astrophysicist Fabrizio Tamburini and his proposed solution-- one involving "twisting" radio waves. 

twisting wiresThe idea takes inspiration from the gravity black holes generate-- gravity so immense it causes light waves to twist. In a recent paper, Tamburini shows a means to twist radio waves in a similar way-- creating multiple subfrequencies distinguished by the degree of twistedness. 

You can tune the wave with a given frequency as you normally do, but there is also a fingerprint left by the twist,” Tamburini says. The twisting method can potentially "squeeze out" 100 times more bandwidth from existing frequencies. 

Tamburini and colleague Bo Thidé successfully demonstrated the system last June, with a custom dish setup in Venice broadcasting video encoded in both twisted and normal radio waves across St. Mark's Basin. 

The next step? Creating small, cheap antennas transmitting and receiving twisted signals for commercial applications, such as smartphones and other mobile devices. 

Go Radio Beam Vorticity and Orbital Angular Momentum (Fabrizio Tamburini, Bo Thidé)