Qualcomm's StreamBoost to improve home network performance

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With the rise of connected devices at home downloading and streaming content it's getting increasingly easy to choke the average network when working simultaneously. The new 802.11ac standard is expected to address some of this starting in 2013, offering up to three times faster bandwidth and somewhere between 40 to 60 percent better range. But Qualcomm wants to go a step further with a technology called StreamBoost, which can dynamically allocate your limited home bandwidth to certain applications as needed.

StreamBoost goes beyond existing Quality of Service (QoS) technology avaiable in home routers. According to Qualcomm, the technology can learn the characteristics of an application over time and change the way its prioritization works accordingly. So, rather than having applications trying to grab as much bandwidth as they can, or assigning them a percentage of download priority at all times, StreamBoost will attempt to give each what they need at any given time to ensure the best possible experience.

StreamBoost compatible products will feature an interface that shows all the devices connected to their home network, the applications they are using and the real-time bandwidth usage of each application and device. Along with the built-in traffic prioritization functionality, there's also an opt-in cloud-based feature to contribute to making StreamBoost smarter, allowing new applications and devices to be identified and optimally managed as they are added to a network. The cloud based service can be used to manage home networks remotely. 

Qualcomm says it will be demoing StreamBoost at CES 2013, in collaboration with D-Link and Alienware. Although technically the technology can be used with any router, initially it will only be available on routers based on Qualcomm's new VIVE 802.11ac chip, which should hit the market in spring.

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