802.11ac look out: there’s a faster WiFi standard coming

Earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the leading wireless developers unleashed a new standard on the world: 802.11ac is three times faster than 802.11n, the standard in the past few years. With devices now just adding the new WiFi tech, it only seems fitting that a follow-up is being talked about for next year.

Operating on the 60GHz frequency band, 802.11ad has been developed to run up to seven times faster than 802.11ac, the new standard that network device manufacturers like Netgear have started integrating in devices.

The upcoming 802.11ad technology can achieve download speeds of up to 7 gigabits per second (7Gbps), which roughly equates to just under one gigabyte (1GB) per second, a pretty snazzy benchmark if you ask us. Like most of the wireless spectrums seen thus far, the technology will also be backwards compatible with existing wireless standards.

Of course, the tech will go nowhere without chip manufacturers building them, and we’ve now heard of two major chip developers getting behind this wireless tech, with Business Insider reporting that manufacturers are eyeing a chip release of next year with support for the new 802.11ad high speed wireless standard. When routers, modem routers, computers, tablets, and mobile phones get the technology is another issue altogether, but at least you know its coming.

What this means for this year’s big standard 802.11ac remains to be seen. With the 802.11ac standard still a “draft” technology and not yet supported or released by many wireless network device manufacturers, we may see ac disappear by the middle of next year, with support shifting to ac’s bigger and more speedy brother.