Breif on TP-Link AD7200: The First 802.11ad Router

Recently I find TP-Link AD 7200, the world's first router that supports 802.11ad is now on sale at Newegg, costing you $350. Although we do not have 802.11ad supported devices to test it, TP-Link gives us a good start. For those who do not understand 802.11ad, below is a short description.

Everyone knows WiFi, which is using 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals and follows 802.11b/g/n/ac standards. Each standard can be quantified by bandwidth, e.g., 802.11ac supports in theory 1Gbps max, meaning you might struggle in streaming 4K videos, files, executables, games at the same time. 802.11ad defines in theory 7Gbps that leverages 60GHz signals, and you will have no problem doing all sorts of stuff. The down side is you cannot have blockage between the router and device (i.e. maintaining line of sight). It supports over 100m transmission range for throughput remaining at > 300Mbps (by experiments).

And below are the photos of this router (fancy and good looking). I also opened it to see the mysterious inside.

The router has 4 antennas for 2.4GHz and another 4 antennas for 5GHz. There is also an internal antenna placed at the edge of the router (left edge, connected close by the white cable in the rightmost photo). It should be 60GHz's antenna (array). The internal antenna is for 5GHz or 4GHz, and the 60GHz's antenna (array) is the closest stick/bar to the internal antenna. TP-Link said that the antenna array for 60GHz is 32-element, so I'm guessing it's either 4-by-8 or 2-by-16 rectangular array (cannot see the elements on the antenna PCB board). The chip is using Qualcomm's QCA9008-SBD1. For other detailed information and figures, please refer to Newegg and WikiDevi.

For those who want to see how the configuration page looks like in this router, you can visit TP-Link's emulator. Regarding the performance of this router (e.g., link quality, actual throughput, etc.) on 802.11ad, we'll have to wait until the real 60GHz devices coming out. Stay tuned.


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