Apple is set to roll out support for 802.11ac “Gigabit Wi-Fi” this year to a range of devices including its Apple TV, MacBooks, Time Capsule, and possibly even its iOS devices, according to a new report. The new specification offers speeds around three times as fast as the existing 802.11n wireless technology, with speeds of over 1 Gigabit per second.
The new 802.11ac standard achieves much faster wireless networking speeds than the existing 802.11n specification (in use on the latest Mac, AirPort and iOS devices) by using 2 to 4 times the frequency bandwidth (from 80 to 160MHz), more efficient data transfers through sophisticated modulation, and more antennas (up to 8; existing standards support up to 4, while Apple’s Macs currently use up to 3).
While the specification is yet to be finalized as an official standard, manufacturers — particularly Apple — have been known to adopt new wireless technology before it receives its final certification in the past. Back in 2003, the Cupertino company adopted the 802.11g standard six months before it received its official certification, and in 2006, it adopted the 802.11n standard long before it was formally ratified.
But despite its lack of certification, Broadcom, which already supplies wireless technology to Apple, has announced a family of components supporting the 802.11ac standard which could make their way into new Apple devices this year.