Code in latest OS X 10.8.4 beta points to 802.11ac support in future Macs

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Code found in the just released Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta build references the next-generation 802.11ac wireless protocol, hinting that Apple may soon introduce the technology in its Mac lineup.

Wi-Fi


The string was discovered in the OS X 10.8.4 beta build 12E30, which was seeded to developers earlier on Tuesday, and suggests Apple is planning on releasing a lineup of Macs compatible with the 802.11ac wireless draft.

While 802.11ac has yet to be ratified as a wireless standard by the IEEE, a number of OEMs have already started rolling out routers based on the draft. Although Apple has yet to adopt the protocol, other manufacturers began shipping products last year, meaning the Cupertino company shouldn't be far behind.

As the fifth-generation wireless standard, 802.11ac promises to deliver data speeds of 1 gigabits per second over two channels, each carrying single link speeds of 500 megabits per second. In theory, the draft can reach speed of up to 1.3Gbps, which improves upon the existing 802.11n spec that tops out at a theoretical maximum of 900Mbps (450Mbps per channel). In addition, 802.11ac can accommodate up to 8 MIMO streams and extends effective range over previous technologies.

In January, Apple posted job listings for Gigabit Wi-Fi engineers, and the company was rumored to have struck a deal with Broadcom to use the chipmaker's "5G Wi-Fi" silicon in as-yet-unannounced products.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19

    Honestly, this should have been released with last year's Retina Macbook Pros!  Apple really seems to be lagging lately...  


     


    Let's hope Apple releases a new 17" MBP soon too!!!  Hope the 5S has 802.11ac as well... 

  • Reply 2 of 19
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    Honestly, this should have been released with last year's Retina Macbook Pros!  Apple really seems to be lagging lately...  


     


    Let's hope Apple releases a new 17" MBP soon too!!!  Hope the 5S has 802.11ac as well... 

     

    Wrong. It's in Draft right now and won't be signed off until 2014. This should be a sign that it's in final draft and soon to be and ISO standard. In fact, final approval is slated for November 2013.

    http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/802.11_Timelines.htm

    FWIW: Apple is Vice-Chair of this standard:

    http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/tgac_update.htm
  • Reply 3 of 19
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,030member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post




    Honestly, this should have been released with last year's Retina Macbook Pros!  Apple really seems to be lagging lately...  


     


    Let's hope Apple releases a new 17" MBP soon too!!!  Hope the 5S has 802.11ac as well... 



     


    The 17" is dead, so just go ahead and accept it. The userbase for that machine is minuscule. With the retina display of the 15", the 17" has no place anymore.


    Also, I don't see how the hell you state this should have been released with last year's MBP when I haven't even seen a single ac router on the market, nor a single ac device. But yeah, Apple is "lagging" because they don't have a time machine and couldn't implement technology from the future. The spec won't even be finalized till next year. 

  • Reply 4 of 19
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 180member


    @Slurpy     Actually... all you need to do is go to your local Staples (if you dare) and you will find some there. Though... they are not mac compatible. 

  • Reply 5 of 19
    Final ratification of 802.11n in 2009:

    "802.11n is an amendment which improves upon the previous 802.11 standards by adding multiple-input multiple-output antennas (MIMO). 802.11n operates on both the 2.4 GHz and the lesser used 5 GHz bands. It operates at a maximum net data rate from 54 Mbits/s to 600 Mbits/s. The IEEE has approved the amendment and it was published in October 2009.[14][15] Prior to the final ratification, enterprises were already migrating to 802.11n networks based on the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification of products conforming to a 2007 draft of the 802.11n proposal."

    and...

    "On January 9, 2007, Apple unveiled a new AirPort Extreme (802.11 Draft-N) Base Station..." (wikipedia)

    ... the ratification and the draft implementation from Apple were separated by well over two years, for n.

    Just saying, libertyforall has precedent in this regard.

    To be slightly more relevant, the 802.11-2007 amendments were published a month after Apple released the Airport Extreme:

    "Upon approval on March 8, 2007, 802.11REVma was renamed to the then-current base standard IEEE 802.11-2007.[13]" (wikipedia)

    ... and furthermore:

    "IEEE 802.11ad "WiGig" is a published standard that is already seeing a major push from hardware manufacturers. On 24 July 2012 Marvell and Wilocity announced a new partnership[17] to bring a new tri-band Wi-Fi solution to market. Using 60 GHz, the new standard can achieve a theoretical maximum throughput of up to 7 Gbit/s.[18] This standard is expected to reach the market sometime in early 2014." (wikipedia)

    ...so now you know the facts.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,519member
    And who exactly breached their NDA to release this copy and paste job? Is repeating a breach considered ok at AI? It's hardly a rumor! I take the NDA seriously perhaps AI should to.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,397member
    Honestly, this should have been released with last year's Retina Macbook Pros!  Apple really seems to be lagging lately...  
     
    Let's hope Apple releases a new 17" MBP soon too!!!  Hope the 5S has 802.11ac as well... 

    I'll let the lagging remark be touched on by others, and only have 1 simple question: won't .11ac saturate the NAND?
  • Reply 8 of 19
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    ipilya wrote: »
    @Slurpy     Actually... all you need to do is go to your local Staples (if you dare) and you will find some there. Though... they are not mac compatible. 

    Even if true, it's not particularly relevant.

    This has happened in the past. When a new standard is pending, router companies start releasing routers with the draft standard in place long before Apple releases a product with that standard. Most people are more willing to take a risk on a $99 router than on a $2,000 laptop. Apple is just conservative when it comes to wireless standards - and always has been. While they sometimes release a product that's still in draft, it's always very late in the cycle - after the draft has become almost etched in stone.

    Besides, what's the big deal about 900 kbps and 1000 kpbs? I'm certainly not going to be losing sleep over it-especially since my 3 year old Time Capsule works just fine.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    I would like to praise deansolecki for an outstanding review of 802.11.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    And who exactly breached their NDA to release this copy and paste job? Is repeating a breach considered ok at AI? It's hardly a rumor! I take the NDA seriously perhaps AI should to.


     


    There wouldn't be a single rumor posted here if they did that. I'm against breaches of NDA if they're damaging to the company, so most of these should stick around.


     


    WHAT SHOULDN'T BE POSTED HERE IS THE ABSOLUTE LIES TO SHORT APPLE THAT ACTUALLY ARE DAMAGING THE COMPANY. WE SHOULDN'T BE PERPETUATING THAT CRAP. ????

  • Reply 11 of 19
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,872member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post



    "On January 9, 2007, Apple unveiled a new AirPort Extreme (802.11 Draft-N) Base Station..." (wikipedia)



    ... the ratification and the draft implementation from Apple were separated by well over two years, for n.



    Just saying, libertyforall has precedent in this regard.


     


    And I remember many other manufacturers having 802.11 draft N routers and add-on cards on the market well before Apple released the AirPort Extreme.  So the precedent remains the same.


     


    There are always a few manufacturers who are more concerned with being the first to market than future compatibility and performance.  I've suffered enough flakey and poor performing Wi-Fi cards and routers (e.g. randomly needing restarts) over the years that I'm willing to wait in order to save myself some headache.

  • Reply 12 of 19
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    There wouldn't be a single rumor posted here if they did that. I'm against breaches of NDA if they're damaging to the company, so most of these should stick around.

    WHAT SHOULDN'T BE POSTED HERE IS THE ABSOLUTE LIES TO SHORT APPLE THAT ACTUALLY ARE DAMAGING THE COMPANY. WE SHOULDN'T BE PERPETUATING THAT CRAP. <span style="font-family:'Apple Color Emoji';font-size:28px;line-height:normal;">????</span>

    Only one problem with that. Many of the positive things are outright lies, too. And some true things are negative for Apple. Weeding out news based on whether it's negative is ridiculous. And when it comes from a rumor, you don't know if it's true or a lie.

    There are really only two reasonable scenarios:
    1. Only post articles that have been confirmed with reliable sources. That is responsible journalism.

    2. Report a wide range of rumors and label them as such. That is what AI does.

    Now, someone should be tracking the accuracy of rumors provided by each source and report that information appropriately. When a rumor comes from some sources (Walt Mossberg, for example), the accuracy rate is very high. With others (Digitimes), the rumor is worthless. If AI really wanted to be adding value to their site (rather than simply repeating the same rumors that hundreds of other sites circulate), they should implement a rating scheme like this and either report the rating for each source or refuse to publish anything from sources below a given cutoff (or both).

    But simply refusing to publish rumors simply because you don't like them is hypocritical and foolish.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    Many of the positive things are outright lies, too. And some true things are negative for Apple.


     


    Of course!






    There are really only two reasonable scenarios:

    1. Only post articles that have been confirmed with reliable sources. That is responsible journalism.

    2. Report a wide range of rumors and label them as such. That is what AI does.



     


    Wait a minute… image


     


     



    Now, someone should be tracking the accuracy of rumors provided by each source and report that information appropriately. 


     


    Absolutely. But when there's no accountability from the analysts and outlets, people don't find much point in being able to say, "You have never been right in anything you say, ever, at any time," since no one's getting fired for lying.






    But simply refusing to publish rumors simply because you don't like them is hypocritical and foolish.



     


    You'd be okay if I started a rumor about how Apple only hires convicted felons and "recycles" product by force-feeding old iPhones to walruses? That's okay to broadcast to the world as potential fact? image




    There's a line that can be drawn, and I believe it needs to be drawn higher up than it currently is, but that's me. I generally agree with you that there are only two ways of doing things, but I think AI could be better about weeding out the crap.

  • Reply 14 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    If we get 802.11ac in Macs we need to get 802.11ac in the routers. I really hope they update much more than the WiFi when they do.

    Wrong. It's in Draft right now and won't be signed off until 2014. This should be a sign that it's in final draft and soon to be and ISO standard. In fact, final approval is slated for November 2013.http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/802.11_Timelines.htmFWIW: Apple is Vice-Chair of this standard:http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/Reports/tgac_update.htm

    Apple has historically been ahead of the curve when it comes to WiFi. Apple released 802.11n in their devices back when it was only a draft and even released the HW with the driver to comes later in at least one of their Macs

    I am surprised they didn't release sooner time around considering that 802.11ac didn't have the issues associated with 802.11n.

    philboogie wrote: »
    I'll let the lagging remark be touched on by others, and only have 1 simple question: won't .11ac saturate the NAND?

    Depends on how much RAM is use and how fast the 802.11ac is, which depends on other HW factors. I'd think a smartphone this year would only be 433Mbps as shown on in the first row.


    Note that the Samsung Galaxy S IV has 802.11ac.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iPilya View Post



    @Slurpy     Actually... all you need to do is go to your local Staples (if you dare) and you will find some there. Though... they are not mac compatible. 




    Even if true, it's not particularly relevant.



    This has happened in the past. When a new standard is pending, router companies start releasing routers with the draft standard in place long before Apple releases a product with that standard. Most people are more willing to take a risk on a $99 router than on a $2,000 laptop. Apple is just conservative when it comes to wireless standards - and always has been. While they sometimes release a product that's still in draft, it's always very late in the cycle - after the draft has become almost etched in stone.



    Besides, what's the big deal about 900 kbps and 1000 kpbs? I'm certainly not going to be losing sleep over it-especially since my 3 year old Time Capsule works just fine.


    It's not that "this has happened in the past"; This ALWAYS happens. Nothing wrong with it.


    I don't know if there were any  ac  radios available that would have been accommodative to the last MacBook designs at the time that they were built, or not. I certainly would expect them in any future Apple WiFi products going forward. Certainly expect it in the next OS release. ac APs and routers are here. Fact that they are "draft" at this point is totally the norm.

  • Reply 16 of 19
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member


    I seem to recall feeling like Apple was close to the front of the pack when N came along. I don't remember reading about competitors adopting it and producing products around it long before Apple did. The move to AC feels different... a deal for chips has been in place for months, others have products, but no joy from Apple.


     


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    Besides, what's the big deal about 900 kbps and 1000 kpbs? I'm certainly not going to be losing sleep over it-especially since my 3 year old Time Capsule works just fine.


     


     


    N doesn't really do 900 though, does it? Isn't the maximum for an Apple product 450? I don't even get THAT, but then the signal DOES have to travel almost twelve feet unobstructed from the Time Capsule to the Mac, so maybe I'm expecting too much! image


     


    They gotta do something regardless. I get frustrated when transfers between machines go lickety-split when I plug in that overgrown telephone cable, but go slower than a hippy on Qualudes over the Airport.

  • Reply 17 of 19
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,397member
    v5v wrote: »
    N doesn't really do 900 though, does it? Isn't the maximum for an Apple product 450?

    .11n goes up-to a theoretical 600Mb/s (< not sarcastic here), but under strict circumstances. And I believe Apple devices max out at 300, IIRC.

    lol @ 'slower than a hippy on Qualudes'
  • Reply 18 of 19
    b3atsb3ats Posts: 3member
    It also suggests that new macs with this technology will be released before any new major version of the OS is released (e.g. 10.9)
  • Reply 19 of 19
    b3atsb3ats Posts: 3member
    Edited to remove duplicate post.
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