In February, Qualcomm launched its latest generation of 5G modems, the SnapDragon X60, with fiber speed and latency comparable to fiber, and the 5G-like Wi-Fi 6. On Friday, Qualcomm announced the launch of its latest next-generation Wi-Fi 6E platform portfolio, the top-spec platform on the router side, the Networking Pro 1610, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E platform with a 16-way stream of connections up to 10.8Gbps, essentially the same as the wired connection rate.
Of course, the latest Wi-Fi 6E routers need to be paired with the latest Wi-Fi 6E terminals to achieve the highest connection rates. When it comes to Wi-Fi 6E many people wonder why Wi-Fi 6 Is Not Used, Wi-Fi 6E Is Coming? How does it differ from Wi-Fi 6?
Photo from Telecoms
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wi-Fi is already very popular, but most people should n’orris the Wi-Fi experience. At the end of 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance is launching a new generation of Wi-Fi technology 802.11ax. At the same time, in order to make it easier for most people to understand and distinguish Wi-Fi technology, the Wi-Fi Alliance named the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, the previous 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11a/g also corresponding to the name Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 3.
Wi-Fi 6 addresses three core issues: first, whether the Wi-Fi terminal is far or near the router, it needs to maintain a high-speed network connection;
To solve these problems, it is essential to include new technologies in Wi-Fi 6, but also to increase the most basic frequency of wireless communications, and the new standard after the Wi-Fi 6 frequency is raised to 6GHz, called Wi-Fi 6E. Earlier this year, Edgar Figueroa, ceo and president of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced the Wi-Fi 6E standard to ensure industry uniform terminology, which allows Wi-Fi devices to support the 6GHz band when the spectrum is available.
Why upgrade to 6GHz? The following spectrum map allows you to find the answer very intuitively. 2.4GHz is the most widely used Wi-Fi band available, and its benefits are wide coverage, but are susceptible to interference and low bandwidth and speed. As can be seen from the figure below, 2.4GHz supports up to 3 channels with non-overlapping 20MHz bandwidth, and 2.4GHz can only host one channel if you use a channel with 40MHz bandwidth.
The 5GHz spectrum has relatively little interference, relatively rich spectrum resources and faster speeds, and most routers and mobile phones now support 5GHz band Wi-Fi. It can support up to 6 non-overlapping channels with 80MHz bandwidth. However, the management of spectrum resources is different in each country, with China opening up only up to three 80MHz channels. If configured to 160MHz bandwidth, there is only one channel at 5GHz, which also spans some DFS (Dynamic Spectrum Selection) areas.
As the number of connected devices increases, resources in the 5GHz band will become limited. At this point, a wider spectrum resource is required for 6GHz, which can carry up to 7 non-overlapping 160MHz channels, with such a wide channel and so many non-overlay channels supported, you can achieve higher rates, lower latency, more efficient network management.
Of course, 6GHz can’t avoid spectrum problems. Qualcomm’s product manager, Mr Ye, said at a media event this week: “The 6GHz spectrum is open for a certain amount of time and conditions, but we will implement the new features of 6GHz in the Wi-Fi 6E to 5GHz.” “
More noteworthy lying, within less than half a year after the Wi-Fi Alliance announced the Wi-Fi 6E standard, Qualcomm was the first to launch a combination of Wi-Fi 6E products with expected speed.
Wi-Fi 6E routers up to wired
On May 29, Qualcomm announced a new Networking Pro series of platforms, including 610, 810, 1210, and 1610, extending the key feature combination of Wi-Fi 6 to the 6GHz band. Among them, the highest specification of the Networking Pro 1610 platform, support up to 16 streams of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connections, with a main frequency of 2.2GHz quad-core A53 processor, 8×8 data stream support more user access capacity, peak speed of 10.8Gbps.
Mr. Ye said the connection rate of 10.8 Gbps, which is essentially the same as the connection rate, provides almost the same level of use as wireless and wired connections.
The other three platforms in the new Networking Pro series also have peak speeds above 5Gbps:
The Networking Pro 1210 platform supports Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity up to 12 streams, with a four-core A53 processor with a main frequency of 2.2GHz and a peak speed of 8.4Gbps.
The Networking Pro 810 platform supports Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity for up to 8 streams, with a four-core A53 processor with a main frequency of 1.8GHz and a peak speed of 6.6Gbps.
Networking Pro 610 platform: Supports Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity for up to 6 streams, with a four-core A53 processor with a main frequency of 1.8GHz and a peak speed of 5.4Gbps.
Mr Ye said the new generation of Networking Pro platforms did not have a 400 series, mainly because wi-Fi 6E is supported for 6GHz frequencies, so starting with the 600 series. Wi-Fi 6E is mainly aimed at the network requirements of the user base at this stage.
Behind the high rate, more technical support is required in addition to the higher frequency. The new generation of Networking Pro platforms introduces Qualcomm’s three-band Wi-Fi 6 technology. The tri-band Wi-Fi6 means that it can operate simultaneously in three bands, 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz. Qualcomm is also reported to be divided into 5GHz into two sub-bands, each band is connected by a rf device, so that each RF channel does not conflict, can connect more terminals.
“In the 6GHz band, we support up to 4 data streams, 160M of large bandwidth, and total data throughput of more than 4Gbps,” says Mr Ye. At the same time, 4K QAM support has been added to the 6GHz band, and 4K QAM is a modulation demodulation method. At Wi-Fi 6, the standard is 1024 QAM, Wi-Fi 5 is 256 QAM, and earlier it was 64 QAM. QAM means the data throughput of the device when connected, and 4K QAM is about 20% more data throughput than the original 1K QAM. “
Of course, the three-band Wi-Fi 6E with Mesh technology enables more stable and faster Wi-Fi connectivity. Qualcomm calls Mesh-optimized technology Wi-Fi SON, a technology that allows users to intelligently and automatically connect to the main node of their network environment as long as they put the device in a bad signal, allowing the entire house’s network coverage to be kept at a good level without any configuration.
The triple frequency is not the same as a dual-frequency Mesh that can be connected to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Networking Pro’s three frequencies will have a separate RF dedicated and house-in router (master) connection for data backhaul and connection, the equivalent of a private highway, the remaining two frequencies can be used to cover or connect to the user side, without sacrificing the overall speed of the network.
In addition, with innovations in the network architecture, the next generation of Networking Pro can simultaneously manage and maintain connectivity to up to 2,000 users, providing stable network and long-lasting throughput. At the same time, the scheduling algorithm and cache are provided through the general uplink data support. Advanced multi-user solutions optimized for high-density user environments, including up to 37 user OFDMA support on a single channel and 8 user MU-MIMO on a single channel. There is also a complete WPA3 security suite.
“In the Wi-Fi 6 era, there were a lot of users talking about experience issues, and it was critical to give more control to the router and better manage all Wi-Fi devices. “Qualcomm’s product marketing director, Hu Peng, points out that
As more and more devices, users will experience refreshing web pages and slowing down the loading of pictures. The original Wi-Fi underlying conflict detection avoidance mechanism (CSMA/CA) resulted in a free-competitive but disorderly network, and Wi-Fi 6 could make the network more organized in multi-user situations through specifications such as OFDMA, TWT, MU-MIMO, and BSS Coloring. This avoids conflicts and promotes a user experience when network capacity increases and the number of Wi-Fi devices increases.
It is worth mentioning that Qualcomm’s wireless network technology not only achieves downstream support in MU-MIMO and OFDMA technology, but also chooses upstream support that is optional for the Wi-Fi 6 standard. This is critical in the heat of webcasting and critical to the future of XR.
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 need to work closely together
To maximize the performance of a Wi-Fi 6E router, you need a Wi-Fi 6E chip with the terminal. Qualcomm’s launch of the next-generation Networking Pro platform also includes the next-generation FastConnect system 6900 and 6700. Thanks to the unique 4-way dual-band concurrency feature sq., including the 6GHz band, the FastConnect 6900 provides additional performance gains with peak rates of up to 3.6 Gbps for mobile Wi-Fi. The 6700 also delivers an excellent peak rate of nearly 3Gbps.
Like NetworkIng Pro, the next generation of FastConnect also supports Qualcomm’s 4K QAM (2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz) modulation technology and three-band Wi-Fi 6. In addition to supporting the 5GHz band 160MHz channel, the dual-band 160MHz feature supports up to 7 non-overlapping channels in the 6GHz band, significantly increasing throughput while reducing congestion.
Of course, the FastConnect platform covers all bands and supports high-performance upstream/downstream MU-MIMO and OFDMA mobile technologies. At the same time, the new Wi-Fi 6 upstream MU-MIMO features are supported, and the network capacity is increased by more than 2.5 times. Ultra-low latency also provides the basis for explosive growth in mobile gaming and Extended Reality (XR) applications.
Thanks to the 14nm process process and advanced power management architecture, the energy efficiency of the next-generation FastConnect system is up to 50% higher than that of the previous generation, Hu said.
While supporting Wi-Fi 6E, fastConnect 6900 and 6700 also integrate the latest Bluetooth 5.2 audio technology. Supports 5.2 and above connections, including a second Bluetooth antenna that supports smart switching, and can support multiple audio connections at the same time to deal with common signal blocking problems.
In terms of Bluetooth sound quality, Qualcomm aptX Adaptive supports 96kHz, comparable to wired audio, and aptX Voice provides a high-quality call experience with ultra-broadband.
Qualcomm’s high-quality audio and calls do not use Bluetooth-based Bluetooth 5.2-based Bluetooth Audio (LE Audio) technology, Mr Hu said. This is because the Bluetooth organization has not yet officially released LE Audio technology, the main advantage of this technology is that the network architecture is simpler, can be one-to-many or broadcast to implement. In theory, LE Audio itself consumes less power and has a delay, but these need to be further validated through the market.
In addition, Hu pointed out that the use cases for cellular, Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth technology to be located show that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology are not completely independent in themselves, but need to work with other units of the entire system. FastConnect 6900 and FastConnect 6700 are designed to help customers improve their user experience from both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, including new experiences such as higher rates, lower latency, more multi-user collaboration, and more reliable connectivity.
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology, with wi-Fi 6 operating frequencies increased from 5GHz to 6GHz for greater connectivity and higher speeds, and new Wi-Fi 6E standards have been added. Qualcomm’s ability to launch the Wi-Fi 6E’s router-side and terminal-side portfolio in less than half a year after the standard is available, supporting optional technology while also featuring its unique three-band Wi-Fi 6 demonstrates its leadership in this area.
At present, there are more than 200 basic Networking Pro series platform wireless routers have been shipped or under development, in the mobile terminal side, there are about 70 devices equipped with SnapSnapdragon 865 mobile platform using FastConnect mobile connection system. The next generation of Networking Pro platforms is now available, and FastConnect 6900 and 6700 solutions are in the process of being launched and are expected to be available this year.
The ABI study predicts that all vendors will have more than 1 billion Wi-Fi chips shipped annually by 2022, and reports that 56 percent of new terminals are expected to support Wi-Fi 6 by 2022. IDC research shows that Wi-Fi 6 will be the mainstream Wi-Fi standard by 2024.
Let’s look forward to the 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E eras.