Mesh networking is all the rage with WiFi router makers these days. Rather than buying a super-powerful router to make sure there are no dead spots in your home, you can buy two or three units that can be placed throughout the house to offer more reliable coverage.
Right now the market is a bid hodgepodge. But Qualcomm is launching a new platform that should make it easier for device makers to offer high-performance mesh networking systems.
The Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform brings together some existing technologies, adds some new features, and includes a reference design for device makers.
The platform uses Qualcomm’s IPQ40x8/9 system-on-a-chip, which is already used in a number of existing mesh networking routers. But the platform brings together a new suite of “WiFi Self Organizing (SON) features to make setup and management easier, as well as optional support for voice controls.
Device makers that integrate a speaker and mic array will be able to use voice recognition software to enable Amazon Echo-like voice interactions.
Other features include support for 802.11ad, 802.11ax, Powerline, Bluetooth and ZigBee protocols for smart home/IoT applications.
Pretty much every major company that makes consumer routers now offers a mesh system, and there are a bunch of new companies making a name for themselves in this space.