Android will support Wireless-N

Apparently, Google's Nexus One has the hardware capability to connect to wireless-N Wifi networks. iFixit, in their dismantling of the smartphone, found that the wireless NIC was a Broadcom BCM4329EKUBG, a model that does support the N wireless standard.

Google customers have been confused as to the actual software capabilities for such connections, and it's become clear that the "N" was taken out of the spec sheet when it was determined that Android wasn't reliable enough with the connection to warrant spec sheet love. Nevertheless, users continue to report connectivity on their N networks, and modders like cyonogen have released modded Andorid ROMs with N connectivity enabled. 

Android and Me reports that Broadcom and Google have released a new wireless driver for the Nexus One that specifically addresses wireless-N connectivity, and seems to have fixed the problem. Users with the wherewithal to install custom drivers in their OS are able to take advantage of this functionality. There is speculation that Google will be packaging this driver update in Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo. As the driver is fully functional, and for lack of an official announcement, this seems to be the most likely scenario. 

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So the Nexus One has
* Wireless N
* Tri-Color LED undertrack ball
* FM Transmiter / Reciver
All of which will be enabled with future updates, cool.

I bet the primary benefit from these phones supporting Wireless N is the MIMO antennas that go along with it, enabling increased range and better signal quality...

That's missing on my iPhone 3GS... I want Wireless-N. But then again, it's also missing on my PS3, so I can't just disable Wireless B and G on my router.

Whats the point in xfering over wifi when you can plug your phone in via usb and copy w.e you want. Its for the hardcore techs, plain and simple. Running N will kill your batter faster while having virtually no impact on your phones internet speed. I applaud Google and Broadcom for putting out the drivers though, its nice to see companies standing by their prodcuts.

pjw said,
Whats the point in xfering over wifi when you can plug your phone in via usb and copy w.e you want. Its for the hardcore techs, plain and simple. Running N will kill your batter faster while having virtually no impact on your phones internet speed. I applaud Google and Broadcom for putting out the drivers though, its nice to see companies standing by their prodcuts.

Depends. HD2 users with N enabled have either reported no loss in battery life, or better battery life. Nobody, yet, has reported a loss.

Edited by -Razorfold, Apr 25 2010, 7:25pm :

Wireless N doesn't use anymore power than Wireless G or B did. Both standards use the same transmit power, which is actually variable and can be adjusted in software.. if anything Wireless N hardware consumes less power than previous generation chips because of advancements in the fabrication process and chip design (smaller size, etc).

What would be the advantage of running N over G on a mobile device? I mean, I'm all for the newer standard because I understand that it is much faster. But given that most users will just be consuming the much slower Internet connection (most likely) is there much benefit at all (like, lower latency)?

N on a phone probably has no advantage other than keeping up with tech. The CPU in most phones can't handle full N speeds but i guess it's good to have all N devices.

SHoTTa35 said,
N on a phone probably has no advantage other than keeping up with tech. The CPU in most phones can't handle full N speeds but i guess it's good to have all N devices.

Um I'm pretty sure most new phones have CPUs capable enough of handling N speeds. I mean my current router handles N speeds pretty well and it only has a crappy 300mhz processor. Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung already have 1ghz chips, and Qualcomm plans to release 2-3 new chips of increasing power this year: 1.3ghz, 1.5ghz, 1.8ghz. One of those is rumored to be a dual-core too.

You are still thinking in Mhz/Ghz again aren't ya. If that's the case then we shouldn't need GPUs as most are 600-1Ghz (nVidia or ATI) since we have 3Ghz+ CPUs. Everyone knows even the highest clocked Core i7 can't do what even older GPUs can do as they are designed for specialized instructions.

If Ghz was what mattered Cisco's new CRS-3 router would have to have about 10,000Thz to handle the internet speeds of 322Tbps!

Edited by Roger H., Apr 25 2010, 5:37pm :

SHoTTa35 said,
You are still thinking in Mhz/Ghz again aren't ya. If that's the case then we shouldn't need GPUs as most are 600-1Ghz (nVidia or ATI) since we have 3Ghz+ CPUs. Everyone knows even the highest clocked Core i7 can't do what even older GPUs can do as they are designed for specialized instructions.

If Ghz was what mattered Cisco's new CRS-3 router would have to have about 10,000Thz to handle the internet speeds of 322Tbps!

Of course I know mhz isn't the only all important thing. But to think that mobile CPUs cannot handle N speeds is ignorant. I can tell you right now that my HD2s qualcomm Snapdragon is a lot more powerful than my Linksys router's ralink CPU, regardless of the mhz on it.

And you really expect me to believe that the dual-core mobile cpus that are going to released later in the year aren't going to be powerful enough?

Edited by -Razorfold, Apr 25 2010, 5:03pm :

I could see N having it's advantages while wireless syncing with a PC (if it's supported). Are there advantages of N over G when it comes to a
crouded network (say a coffee shop or some public wifi location)?

/- Razorfold said,

Of course I know mhz isn't the only all important thing. But to think that mobile CPUs cannot handle N speeds is ignorant. I can tell you right now that my HD2s qualcomm Snapdragon is a lot more powerful than my Linksys router's ralink CPU, regardless of the mhz on it.

And you really expect me to believe that the dual-core mobile cpus that are going to released later in the year aren't going to be powerful enough?

Hehe you are funny, let's have your phone be the gateway for a network with 5 or more PCS and see if it can handle all the traffic that's going through it. As i said it's more of a specilized instructions vs general purpose CPU. This is why the ION and Broadcom solutions can decode 1080p HD video at low specs while a 2Ghz x86 CPU struggles.

I can't find out how much mhz the chips are right this sec.

SHoTTa35 said,
N on a phone probably has no advantage other than keeping up with tech. The CPU in most phones can't handle full N speeds but i guess it's good to have all N devices.

The CPU has very little to do with supporting the standard, as the wireless module does most of the work. The real issue is what type of bus is used to connect the module to the main memory/CPU. Some device use "high speed" GPIO ports, which can't even reach 11B speeds yet claim to support G or N speeds. The actual CPU speed really doesn't matter in terms of the connection, as most of the CPU usage will come from the browser doing the page rendering/OS tasks/menu effects.

CPU only came up because it has to process the data being downloaded over the the connection. The bus is fast enough, the CPUs just don't have enough umph as well as cache (and RAM) to handle the data being fed in.

SHoTTa35 said,

Hehe you are funny, let's have your phone be the gateway for a network with 5 or more PCS and see if it can handle all the traffic that's going through it. As i said it's more of a specilized instructions vs general purpose CPU. This is why the ION and Broadcom solutions can decode 1080p HD video at low specs while a 2Ghz x86 CPU struggles.

I can't find out how much mhz the chips are right this sec.

My phone acts as a router fine enough for 3g speeds. Of course I cannot really test anything higher now can I, it's not like I can plug in an Ethernet cable into it. Of course I could plug it into my computer and have it act as a router over wireless, but then the USB bus, and flash memory speed, would become the limiting factor.

As for connecting 5 wireless clients at N speeds, my Linksys N router struggles doing that but can handle 1 perfectly fine.

The CPU isn't the limiting factor of N-speeds on the phone.

Shadrack said,
What would be the advantage of running N over G on a mobile device? I mean, I'm all for the newer standard because I understand that it is much faster. But given that most users will just be consuming the much slower Internet connection (most likely) is there much benefit at all (like, lower latency)?

Couldn't agree more. Very little if any benefit for mobile users

/- Razorfold said,

My phone acts as a router fine enough for 3g speeds...
The CPU isn't the limiting factor of N-speeds on the phone.

3G speeds are nothing, anything can do that. USB 2.0 is faster than N (300Mbs or 450 (3 x 3) ) still so USB isn't the limiting factor either.

You can connect your phone over wifi to your PC and copy some files to/from it and see what speeds you get.

SHoTTa35 said,

3G speeds are nothing, anything can do that. USB 2.0 is faster than N (300Mbs or 450 (3 x 3) ) still so USB isn't the limiting factor either.

And how many times have you hit that speed when transferring files over USB 2? Not to mention how many times have you hit the Wireless N speed?

Those are both theoretical speeds.

You can connect your phone over wifi to your PC and copy some files to/from it and see what speeds you get.

Much much faster than wireless-G. If you don't believe me go look at the XDA forums. Will I hit 300MBs? Who knows? I'm pretty sure the flash memory on board the phone cannot handle read/writes at those speeds. Not to mention the quality of the driver, which on the HD2 isn't great, how well the OS handles it, can't really say since the driver is poor, what is the speed of the bus between the cpu and wireless radio.

SHoTTa35 said,

3G speeds are nothing, anything can do that. USB 2.0 is faster than N (300Mbs or 450 (3 x 3) ) still so USB isn't the limiting factor either.

You can connect your phone over wifi to your PC and copy some files to/from it and see what speeds you get.


Same speed as any memory stick or external hard drive on my Samsung UltraTouch phone, and that far from keeps up with the smart phones being discussed here.

Hi,

Unfortunately, the 802.11n specification requires payment to view, but having looked through it, these are the possible advantages for mobile users:

* Higher bit rates. You might not need all this, but if the network is congested, then more bandwidth means less congestion for a given number of users.

* Higher bitrate also means your phone is transmitting for less microseconds to transmit a given amount of data, which (approximately) means lower power consumption.

* Power saving features in 802.11n allow the phone to switch off it's wireless receive antennas even while still connected to the access point. This feature, if well implemented, could mean that while connected to the wireless but not using it, you would use pretty much no extra power.

Remember that because of the "draft-n" debacle, many 802.11n devices may not support some of the power saving features, so you might well see reduced rather than improved battery life.

TheBlueRaja said,
What about the HTC Desire - that has the same Broadcom chip?

I hope it does! Only got mine 2 days ago

TheBlueRaja said,
What about the HTC Desire - that has the same Broadcom chip?
It will, uses the same chip as the Nexus One. However, it's upto HTC if that want to implement it (which is doubtful). But I'm sure a custom ROM will be released to enable it should HTC decide to not support it though. I'm still waiting for my Desire, my application is still pending bloody Telstra...

Not surprising, most new HTC phones have Wireless-N. However it is disabled for compatibility reasons, people who enable it have reported numerous problems.

Good to know that Broadcom and Google have released a new wireless driver though! Hopefully they do the same for the HD2 (though not Google of course).

People have been using wireless N on the HD2 for a while now. It doesn't need any new drivers to enable it, you just have to change a setting in the registry.

I've heard battery life isn't great though.

BigCheese said,
People have been using wireless N on the HD2 for a while now. It doesn't need any new drivers to enable it, you just have to change a setting in the registry.

I've heard battery life isn't great though.

I know that but the HD2 hd2 wireless driver doesn't work very well with Wireless-N, it has caused numerous problems which is why I'm hoping at some point they update it.