why does it matter: Amazon shared an early look at three dish design concepts that would underpin Project Kuiper’s satellite internet service. Dishes, referred to as client stations, are essentially outdoor antennas designed to communicate wirelessly with satellites passing over them.
The standard station is about 11 inches square, one inch thick, and weighs less than five pounds (sans mounting bracket) According to Amazon, this model can deliver speeds of up to 400Mbps and should cost less than $400 to produce.
Amazon too developing A smaller 7-inch square model tips the scales at just 1 pound. This scaled-down version will have speeds of up to 100Mbps and could be ideal for cost-conscious consumers or enterprise customers looking to connect IoT devices.
On the other end of the spectrum is high-bandwidth design for government, telecom, and enterprise applications. Amazon says this model, which measures 19″ by 30″, will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The client terminals are powered by a custom-designed core chip developed under the codename “Prometheus”. Amazon said the chip combines the processing power of a 5G modem chip like that used in smartphones with the capacity of a cellular base station that can manage thousands of simultaneous connections and the capacity of a microwave delivery antenna to support point-to-point communications.
Prometheus chips are not limited to customer terminals. The hardware can also be found on Project Kuiper satellites and terrestrial gateway antennas, Amazon said, and is useful in each satellite’s ability to handle up to 1 terabyte of traffic.
The e-commerce giant is in the process of expanding its infrastructure before mass-producing the units, and will use the expertise it gained from manufacturing consumer devices like Fire TV boxes and Echo smart speakers. It is expected that the first two satellite prototypes will be implemented Launching into space In the coming months, and assuming everything goes according to plan, Amazon could put production models into space by the first half of 2024.