Monday, January 7th 2019

Corsair Details Slipstream, Unique New Wireless Peripheral Technology

Corsair at its CES 2019 presser detailed key in-house, under-the-hood innovations that will be part of its gaming peripherals for years to come. The first of these is called Slipstream, and is developed to improve latencies (in turn responsiveness) of wireless gaming peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and even headsets. It combines existing physical-layer technologies such as 2.4 GHz radio, with a proprietary protocol-layer by Corsair that delivers twice the packets per millisecond, thereby reducing latency. This protocol-layer is different from Bluetooth, although all Slipstream devices will maintain compatibility with Bluetooth.

At the heart of what Corsair is trying to do, is a technique called IFS (intelligent frequency switching), a process that continuously scans the spectrum for radio channels that are most optimal (have least interference and best strength), and switches to that frequency/channel. This switching happens at a sub-millisecond rate, and the effective response-times claimed by Corsair are impressive - 0.5 ms to move a packet of data from the peripheral to the receiver (or vice versa). Corsair is also working on improving wireless signal strength of all devices that implement Slipstream, so your peripherals can work flawlessly up to 20 meters (65 ft) away from your PC (bodes well for living room gamers).
Among the Slipstream-ready devices Corsair is launching are the Harpoon RGB Slipstream wireless mouse. This 99-gram mouse can last up to 60 hours on a full battery, supports three interfaces - Slipstream, Bluetooth, and wired USB, and is priced at an affordable $49.99. Corsair is working on variants of several of its wireless headsets that will support Slipstream. These headsets will leverage the protocol to overcome issues with Bluetooth such as narrow frequency-response of microphones, reduced microphone audio quality, etc., by utilizing double the bi-directional bandwidth. The range of these headsets will be 30 meters (100 ft), which means you can wear them around your house. Also in the works are Slipstream keyboards, which will have not just faster response times, but also improved n-key rollover. Corsair will roll out various Slipstream series peripherals in the coming months.
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