Celeno plays catch up with 4 by 4 MIMO, dynamic airtime allocation


Israeli WiFi chip specialist Celeno landed a surprise at IBC, coming with only the second 4 x 4 MIMO chipset, and upping its efforts to keep rival US firm Quantenna at bay.

Celeno is well known now for its own MIMO versions, but these were initially based on 3 radios and sometimes more antennas, which it could choose dynamically. This made for really strong video delivery in-home and it landed deals at China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and Liberty Global on the back of that 80211n design.

When Quantenna entered the market with a 4 x 4 MIMO architecture it seemed like it had come out just too late, but went on to get design wins at AT&T and DirecTV in the US. DirecTV is known to be trialing a set top that doesn’t even have a wired connection such as MoCA, because it is so impressed with the WiFi’s ability to carry video around a home.

But so far Quantenna has yet to make it to large volume shipments with its chip, despite significant praise for its performance by partners and these wins. It just takes a long time. Quantenna has since come out with an 8 x 8 MIMO 80211AC chip which is also trialing. But now its chances of kicking out Celeno from its strongholds are likely to evaporate and the two will continue to fight it out at greenfields sites on more or less an even playing field. Celeno is known to be significantly cheaper than Quantenna per chip.

Lior Wiess told us, “Our AC chips are dual band and we can now allocate a percentage of the airtime to uplinks as well as to individual SSIDs.” Both of these steps are significant as previously uploads on a WiFi network took priority and were not included in its primitive QoS scheme, and also the infamous bad apple problem appears more regularly in a second SSID configuration. This is where one “greedy” WiFi client uses a disproportionately high amount of air time either because it is suffering interference or because it is a long way away from the Access Point and so falls back to a slower modulation scheme.

Celeno unveiled its 802.11ac CL2340, which works across the entire range, covering the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, in 2×2, 3×3 and the new 4×4 version. The new 4×4 chipset will provide increased performance and enhanced home coverage for MSOs and Service Providers using Celeno’s chips in their home gateways, access points, and set-top-boxes.

Celeno also had on show an App for consumers that displayed this control that it now offers to operators over the QoS. It is set up so that specific devices, for instance your child’s tablet, can be cut off from WiFi by using the QoS layers to deprive it of airtime.

Celeno’s calls this its Airtime Management technology – OptimizAIR 2.0. which both enables provisioning and dynamic allocation of WiFi capacity when served by the same WiFi Access Point.