Friday, October 9, 2009

Virtual Wires

The word of the day is Beamforming.

It was a new one for me this morning - and I don't like falling behind the curve on new technology - so I took a few minutes to learn something new:

Beamforming is a specialized method of antenna-based RF transmission.  Essentially is has to do with selectively using/timing different antennas or frequency bands in order to aim the transmission/reception either physically or virtually at the source/target you are most interested in.

This is different from the concept of omni-directional transmission/reception that most of us are familiar with.  You can think of it in a way as the concept of a satellite dish pointing at a fixed location instead of a pair of rabbit-ears trying to listen to everywhere at once.  Only in this case - the dish would be self-aiming.

Originally developed for sonar applications - it found another application in cellular networks and is now being introduced for wireless networking.  Expect to hear more of this buzzword in the near future.

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