All in all, Le Max Pro does NOT support 802.11ad

Let me clarify a bit. Le Max Pro, the smartphone that carried with so much hope in 60GHz communications, does not support 802.11ad in terms of software.

Yes, although demonstrated in the video like here and articles like here, Le Max Pro does not have software functionality that supports 802.11ad. It does carry with Snapdragon 820 and does have a fully functioning system, but the ability to access 60GHz channel is missing. I got this phone a while ago, with hope and faith. Yet, I was disappointed.

Guess the only good news is that this phone is discontinued. If there is anyone still looking for this phone, and is looking forward to the so-claimed first smartphone with 60GHz, please consider to wait for more time.

Google Home and Project Soli = ?

Google Home is coming out today. It is getting super excited to see that Google is using its cutting-edge technology on smart home, just like Amazon Echo and Samsung Atrik. What is interesting about Google Home is that we see many other opportunities other than just voice commands.

While security is surely one thing (and one big thing of course) in these smart home devices (or precisely in the IoT development), I thought of one thing in particular: sensing. Although it is not limited to Google Home, here I use it as an example. Continue reading Google Home and Project Soli = ?

MDP 820 Tablet Is A Shame

Intrinsyc is a tech company working on embedded system and IoT devices located in Canada. It released a tablet named MDP 820 (also a smartphone) that has Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor embedded. They claimed the tablet was

the first commercially available Android development tablet with 802.11ad Wi-Fi

This claim is so strong that I couldn't resist getting one as I got a router that supports 802.11ad network. I was so looking forward to it, and yet I did not notice in all webpages (here, here, and here) that list this tablet as "available for purchase", one page states below the figures in the middle of the page, without any remarks, that:

Not every feature listed here may be supported by the current version of software.

Ha, what are in the odds that "not every feature" means "we do not support 802.11ad in software and yet this tablet is our first tablet that supports 802.11ad network."

It's true that snapdragon 820 enables faster computations and blah blah blah, but the sale point of this tablet, the most important feature, is dismissed, or missing on purpose.

MDP 820 tablet is a joke, a shame, and even a lier, though Intrinsyc puts it under the development platform category.

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.