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In Focus: The Meaning of MIMO?

Nobody doubts that MIMO (Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output) dramatically increases the speed and range of wireless LANs. That's why WLAN vendors have been rolling out routers and interface cards that include the intelligent antenna technology.

On the one hand, I can attest that, in terms of speed and coverage, today's pre-standard MIMO products operate as promised. I just reviewed the newest MIMO router and interface cards from Linksys and found them to be blazingly fast over a far wider area than standard 802.11g equipment.

I got the same results when I previously reviewed MIMO equipment from Belkin.

On the other hand, questions remain about whether today's pre-standard MIMO equipment will be compatible both with other current equipment and with standardized equipment in the future. A Linksys spokesperson I spoke with acknowledged that that future compatibility is in doubt. And, last week, a researcher cautioned that some vendors are misusing MIMO.