MIT Researchers Develop MegaMIMO 2.0 Wi-Fi That Triples Speed, Doubles Range

A team of smartypants from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Labl (CSAIL) have developed a new Wi-Fi system purportedly capable of transmitting wireless data more than three times faster than the Wi-Fi we use today. And on top of being significantly faster, it doubles the range of modern day Wi-Fi transmissions.

The new system is call MegaMIMO 2.0 and it could eventually find its way into the Wi-Fi routers that consumers buy for home use. For that to happen, companies such as Netgear and Belkin/Linksys would have to adopt and implement the technology, though bigger benefits could be had in the commercial sector.


While faster and more far reaching wireless sounds enticing, the real upshot here is what MegaMIMO 2.0 could do for crowded venues. Places like airports and sport stadiums contending with potentially hundreds of thousands of people all trying to connect their wireless gadgets, things like smartphones, Internet connected cameras, and even laptops. With so many people vying for wireless access at the same time, it can drag performance down in a hurry.

Adding more wireless access points can help, but that alone isn't an ideal solution.

"In today's wireless world, you can't solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another," lead researcher Ezzeldin Hamed told Science Art. "The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum."

MegaMIMO 2.0 does exactly that. It takes charge of multiple access points at the same time and coordinates simultaneous data transfers without the interference that can drag down performance. It accomplishes this by way of an algorithm that lets more than one independent transmitter use the same spectrum.

As its name suggests, this is an extension of today's MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology that allows multiple devices to receive signals from more than one transmitter. Adding in an access point introduces interference in today's systems, so the MIT team went in search of a solution.

The researchers say they're in the process of commercializing MegaMIMO 2.0.