SMC MIMO enabled wireless routers

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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SMC MIMO enabled wireless routers

Well, it's not an SMC Networks "IP-PBX announcment" like I joked about earlier today in my D-Link SMB IP-PBX post, but SMC Networks has some news about MIMO (multiple input, multiple-output) technology I thought I'd share.

SMC Networks ( announced today a new line of 802.11g wireless networking products that leverage MIMO. MIMO (multiple input, multiple-output) technology speeds data transmission, improves reliability and increases range of wireless networks by using multiple transmitter and receiver 'smart' antennas that send and receive multiple data streams simultaneously. SMC's staged roll-out of MIMO-enabled products will begin in December with three MIMO-enabled wireless networking products built on the Ralink chipset that can build speedy, long-range, secure wireless networks or extend existing 802.11g or b networks with increased performance: the Barricade(TM)g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router (SMCWBR14-GM), the EZ Connect(TM) g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cardbus Adapter (SMCWCB-GM), and the EZ Connect(TM) g 802.11g MIMO Wireless PCI Adapter (SMCWPCI-GM).

"The advantages of MIMO are significant," said SMC Networks product manager, Zsolt Mahunka. "The increased reach is a big plus, especially for home networking, where there is often just one access point and users experience dead spots and distance limitations. And, high-bandwidth applications like real-time video and music distribution and gaming are greatly enhanced by the bandwidth and speed increases that MIMO affords. With their backward-compatibility, these forward-reaching products are a great way to build or expand an efficient wireless network."

SMC's first set of MIMO-enabled products provide the speed, coverage, and security that today's demanding users seek. They accelerate communication, download or upload of large files, streaming audio and/or video and a host of other bandwidth-intensive applications. Based on an advanced Ralink MIMO 802.11g chipset, the IEEE 802.11g-compliant SMC MIMO product set enables speedy data transfer up to 20 times faster than older 802.11b wireless networking devices in MIMO-to-MIMO communication (a MIMO adapter used in its MIMO mode with a compatible MIMO router or access point). At the same time, the products are 100% backward-compatible with standard 802.11g and 802.11b devices and can even increase performance in mixed-mode (802.11g MIMO and 802.11g or b) networks.

SMC's first family of MIMO-enabled 802.11g wireless networking products will include a broadband router, a Cardbus adapter and a PCI adapter. The SMC Barricade g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router (SMCWBR14-GM) is a platform-independent multi-functional router that combines a 4-port 10/100 Mbps dual-speed switch with Automatic MDI-MDIX feature and a high speed 54Mbps wireless access point. And, wireless connections are secure, with support for 802.1x for authentication, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), MAC address filtering and 64/128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), as well as Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall, network management, and support for Virtual Private Network (VPN) pass-through. The SMC EZ Connect g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cardbus Adapter (SMCWCB-GM) and the EZ Connect(TM) g 802.11g MIMO Wireless PCI Adapter (SMCWPCI-GM) enable computers and other network-capable devices to connect to an 802.11g, b, or g-MIMO network. Both include SMC's EZ Installation Wizard for quick and easy setup. Simply put the EZ Installation Wizard CD into the PC's CD-ROM drive, click on Install Driver/Utility, and the wizard performs the installation automatically. Then, plug in your SMCWCB-GM into the PCMCIA slot or install the SMCWPCI-GM into an available PCI slot on the computer, and wireless network communication can begin. Both adapters provide a high level of security with support for both 64/128-bit WEP encryption and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2). Both adapters also include a WLAN utility that scans for all available wireless networks, with profile management that allows users to save names and settings of multiple networks, so traveling connections are easy and instantaneous.

SMC's first MIMO-enabled 802.11g products will begin shipping in December, 2005. The Barricade(TM)g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router (SMCWBR14-GM), will have an MSRP of $139.99; the EZ Connect(TM) g 802.11g MIMO Wireless Cardbus Adapter (SMCWCB-GM), $59.99; and the EZ Connect(TM) g 802.11g MIMO Wireless PCI Adapter (SMCWPCI-GM), $59.99. SMC will introduce additional MIMO-enabled 802.11g products in Q1, 2006.

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