Quantenna Communications, a maker of an advanced 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset, has reaped $21 million from its fifth round of venture funding. The money will be used to speed up deployment of its 4x4 MIMO silicon through carriers and retail channels.
Quantenna’s "Full-11n" chipset, which it says is the only commercially available solution, is targeted at demanding multi-media applications, especially for distributing several high-definition video streams at once at 1080p resolution.
Also read: 802.11n Wi-Fi essentials for enterprise IT
The fabless semiconductor firm, based in Fremont, Calif., released in June 2010 the latest version of the chipset, which uses 4 antennas to send and receive traffic.
The chipset can sustain speeds of 145Mbps or more, and do so for much longer ranges, through intervening walls, than conventional 802.11n Wi-Fi chipsets.
The silicon leverages a range of optional extensions to the 802.11n standard, which other chip vendors are gradually phasing in. These include techniques such as dynamic digital beamforming and wireless channel monitoring. The extensions can boost throughput directly, or indirectly by improving the signal’s range and reliability, or by dramatically reducing the impact of RF interference. The intent, according to the company, is to create a wireless medium that’s as reliable and stable as wired Ethernet.
Quantenna's main customers are equipment makers, carriers and service providers that want to use high-throughput wireless connectivity to distribute bandwidth-hungry applications such as high-definition video throughout an entire home to multiple screens or devices.
The new funding round was led by a new investor, DAG Ventures, with additional funds from the existing investors: Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross Venture Partners, and Venrock Associates.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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