Wireless Products
Wireless Networking
What is Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO)?

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to transfer more data at the same time. All wireless products with 802.11n support MIMO, which is part of the technology that allows 802.11n to reach much higher speeds than products without 802.11n.

In order to implement MIMO, either the station (mobile device) or the access point (AP) needs to support MIMO. For optimal performance and range, both the station and the AP must support MIMO.

MIMO technology takes advantage of a natural radio-wave phenomenon called multipath. With multipath, transmitted information bounces off walls, ceilings, and other objects, reaching the receiving antenna multiple times via different angles and at slightly different times.
 
In the past, multipath caused interference and slowed down wireless signals. MIMO technology takes advantage of multipath behavior by using multiple, smart transmitters and receivers with an added spatial dimension, to dramatically increase performance and range.

MIMO makes antennas work smarter by enabling them to combine data streams arriving from different paths and at different times to effectively increase receiver signal-capturing power. Smart antennas use spatial diversity technology, which puts surplus antennas to good use. When there are more antennas than spatial streams, the antennas can add receiver diversity and increase range.

More antennas usually equate to higher speeds. A wireless adapter with three antennas can have a speed of 600 mbps while an adapter with two antennas has a speed of 300mbps. The router also needs to have multiple antennas, and fully support all of the features of 802.11n, to attain the highest speed possible.

Legacy wireless devices use Single-Input Single-Output (SISO) technology. These devices cannot take advantage of multipath, and can only send or receive one spatial stream at a time.

Related topics
SISO vs. MIMO - All 802.11n is not equal - video
Buyer Beware: Not all consumer 802.11n Wi-Fi Products are the same - video
How does MIMO use multiple antennas to improve performance?
How does wireless diversity work?
Intel® Centrino® 802.11n Wi-Fi Gets Down to Business
Helping Define 802.11n and other Wireless LAN Standards

This applies to:

Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6200
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205 For Desktop
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6230
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235
Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N + WiMAX 6150
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 100
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1030
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 105
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 130
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 135
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2200
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2200 For Desktop
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 for Desktop
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260
Intel® WiFi Link 1000
Intel® WiFi Link 5300 and Intel® WiFi Link 5100 products
Intel® WiMAX/WiFi Link 5350 and Intel® WiMAX/WiFi Link 5150 products
Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN
Intel® Wireless-N 7260

Solution ID: CS-025345
Last Modified: 27-Nov-2013
Date Created: 01-Jan-2007
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