The combination of a steering processor and switch gives systems the ability to target their transmissions
Ever-growing at-home data usage and deployment of IoT devices are driving the need for increased Wi-Fi throughput, capacity, and coverage. A focused antenna pattern (beam) can provide such increases, but a static pattern sacrifices performance in some areas to enhance others. By actively steering the beam, a system can automatically adjust the pattern to match user locations, even when moving.
The Ethertronics active steering scheme involves two components: a steering processor and an antenna switch. The EC477 active steering processor provides the processing and control to enable radio link optimization on a per-antenna, per-client, per-packet basis. Supporting up to an 8 x 8 multi-in, multi-out (MIMO) antenna configuration, the EC477 combines signals to achieve up to 3-dB additional gain in the radio link. The EC624 active antenna switch acts as a slave device to the steering processor, selecting the desired beam pattern of an active antenna on a moment-by-moment basis to keep the radiation pattern on target.
Both devices use a data-over-coax signaling scheme that permits the devices to interact with the antennas and one another over the same cable that carries the RF signal. This eliminates the need for additional cables and custom connectors, lowering the approach’s cost over other MIMO configurations. Furthermore, the active steering technology implemented in the EC477/EC624 family provides scalability for next-generation 802.11ax applications.