In 2019, operators in South Korea, the United States, China and other countries have launched 5G commercial services, so that many people believe that the popularity of 5G will lead to the death of Wi-Fi. This judgment is based on the argument that, on the one hand, 4G-era traffic is cheap enough, and on the other hand, 5G higher rates and greater bandwidth will be enough to meet application needs to replace Wi-Fi.
However, both the investment in the industry and the proportion of Wi-Fi in Internet access suggest that Wi-Fi will not die in the 5G era, but will become more important.
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70% of data transfer in the 5G era will be via Wi-Fi
To judge whether a technology has a future, the direction of capital is a good reference. We’ve seen a number of big acquisitions in 2019 related to Wi-Fi 6. In March 2019, ON Semiconductor announced its acquisition of Quantenna for $1.07 billion. Anson’s desire to combine Quantenna’s Wi-Fi technology and software to create a powerful platform for the fast-growing market for low-power connectivity in industrial and automotive applications.
In May, NXP Semiconductors announced that it would buy Marvel’s wireless connectivity business for $1.76 billion in cash to provide its customers with a richer portfolio.
In June, Infineon announced that it would buy Cypress for $23.85 a share in cash, with a total business value of 9 billion euros ($10.1 billion). The acquired Cypress has a differentiated portfolio of microcontrollers, software and connectivity components that complement Infineon’s leading power semiconductors, sensors and security solutions.
You know, Qualcomm and MediaTek, two of the biggest players in the Wi-Fi world today, have also seized the opportunity to develop Wi-Fi through acquisitions and gained a high market share.
For these three Wi-Fi-related mergers, UNISOC Executive Vice President Wang Wei told Lei Feng and other media this week, “Ansenmei, NXP, Infineon three previous businesses almost do not involve Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, their big acquisition, indicating that everyone is optimistic about Wi-Fi.” But is it a little strange to spend a lot of money on Wi-Fi when 5G is about to develop in 2019? “
Wang Wei, Executive Vice President of UNISOC
Wang gave a data, 2G era using Wi-Fi for data transmission ratio of about 20%, 3G era is about 30%, 4G era about 40%, but the 5G era through Wi-Fi transmission of data will reach 70%.
“From the 2G to 5G era, mobile communication technology is becoming more and more capable of transmitting data, but the proportion of data being transferred over Wi-Fi is increasing, because the amount of data is doubling every year, but there are not enough channels to transmit, so a lot of data still needs to be transmitted via Wi-Fi. Wang explained so.
In another case, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that by 2021, more than half (56%) of connected flat-screen TVs will be 4K TVs, compared with only 15% of connected flat-screen TVs in 2016. This means that 4K TV and 4K video will bring more data transfer requirements, and Wi-Fi will transfer more data.
Cisco’s forecast also points out that in 2016, The percentage of Internet access, Wi-Fi, 52%, cellular 10%, fixed-line 38%, Internet access percentage in 2021, Wi-Fi will account for 53%, cellular will account for 20%, and fixed-line will account for 27%. Wi-Fi and mobile networked devices will generate 73% of Internet traffic.
Although Wi-Fi will transmit more data in the future, Wang pointed out that from the market point of view, the global annual Wi-Fi shipments are about 3 billion devices, of which mobile phones account for the largest proportion, in 2017, mobile phones accounted for 55%, in 2018 accounted for 49%. Overall, mobile phones are basically no longer growing, but non-mobile phone business is growing. The non-mobile business is also a promising market for Anson,’ NXP, Infineon layout Wi-Fi.
5G and Wi-Fi 6 will complement each other
The key reason why Wi-Fi is worth it in the 5G age is that Wi-Fi technology is constantly evolving as it is in mobile communications. The three main features of 5G are high bandwidth, large connectivity, and low latency, i.e. eMMB, mMTC, and URLLC. Wi-Fi is also evolving in these directions, with 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6, offering higher bandwidth than eMMB, and the Us and Europe are discussing opening up the 6 GHz band. This means that networks built on Wi-Fi-based spectrum resources can make more high-speed data transmission. For the mMTC, Wi-Fi’s 802.11az and 802.11ba are also exploring. On the URLLC side, Wi-Fi’s 802.11bb is exploring the transmission of signals with light, and 802.11bd will be used to improve the car networking application, which is also one of the important 5G applications.
In addition to the evolution of Wi-Fi that has accompanied the evolution of mobile communications, Wang believes that Wi-Fi and 5G will not replace each other but complement each other, there are two important reasons. One is that with the emergence of new applications, such as 8K TELEVISION, hi-fi non-destructive music, etc., data volume is growing every year, regardless of which mode of transmission has its bandwidth limit, can not meet the needs of all applications. Wi-Fi and 5G have their own spectrum resources, both can increase the transmission channel of data, together to meet the needs of data growth pole transmission.
Another reason is that Wi-Fi 6 is still a relatively lightweight connection technology, costing well below 5G and routers being much lower than 5G CPE.
How does 5G and Wi-Fi complement each other? For example, in terms of bandwidth and stability, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Hays, UNISOC have introduced dual Wi-Fi connectivity solutions. The so-called dual Wi-Fi connection is that communication equipment such as mobile phones, Televisions, etc. can be connected to The Wi-Fi network through 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz at the same time, such a connection can bring more bandwidth through the 5 GHz band, but also reduce 2.4 GHz connection interference (such as microwave ovens), Increased speed also provides greater stability.
But this is a big challenge, how to reduce power consumption while increasing bandwidth by four times. Wang Wei introduced, we just released the UNISOC third generation Wi-Fi 5 (11ac) wireless connection solution FangIto 5623 on the support of dual connectivity, we not only low power consumption, performance is also quite good, and good compatibility.
Lei Feng learned that the current Wi-Fi 5 chips can be available in the country is now only Haisande and UNISOC.
There are positioning applications, we all know that with the help of 5G base stations can be located, in fact, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be high-precision positioning indoor positioning. Wang qi introduced that the Bluetooth standard AoA and AoD is angle positioning, Wi-Fi standard FTM is used for delay edi-on positioning, positioning level in the meter level. But it can also be done cm, such as Bluetooth, we have seen in the laboratory, through the angle plus phase difference for positioning, can also do cm level.
It is reported that The Ishito 5623 supports the indoor positioning based on Bluetooth AoD/AoA and Wi-Fi FTM RTT fusion, which can be accurately positioned in indoor navigation, reverse car search, shopping mall diversion and other applications.
New opportunities for 5G and Wi-Fi 6
5G and Wi-Fi will work together to meet the growing demand for data, but at the same time, with the development of the market and the completion of merger and acquisition integration, the wireless communications market has become a game that only giants can play, building a higher threshold of entry. UNISOC is one of the few companies in China that can compete in the wireless communications industry, for consumer electronics such as mobile phones, it has released its first 5G modem Spring510 during MWC earlier this year, and currently has only Qualcomm, MediaTek, Huawei, UNISOC, Samsung.
In addition to 5G modems, 5G makes the design of the RF front end more difficult and complex.
Despite the challenges, this is also an opportunity for Chinese companies. As far as UNISOC is concerned, it has a high market share in both the RF front-end market 2G and 3G era, and the market share in the 4G era is not high, because entering 4G, the complexity of RF is getting higher and higher, and the middle and high-end market is monopolized by international factories.
By the time of 5G, Wang believed that UNISOC had a great opportunity. He said that the significant increase in development costs for the 5G RF front end, the high demand for performance, our large volume and sufficient investment, coupled with the extensive development experience of the past 2G/3G/4G RF front end and our deep understanding of the 5G base, helped us to introduce more competitive baseband plus RF solutions.
In addition to 5G, UNISOC is also continuing to launch new products in pan-connectivity technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Ishito 5623 is Ziguang’s third-generation Wi-Fi 5 chip solution, with advantages in Wi-Fi throughput, LTE co-existence technology, bluetooth technology, and converged positioning, specifically for a variety of applications in smart homes. On the Bluetooth side, UNISOC has a TWS autonomous core patent and introduced the ultra-low-power TWS Bluetooth headset chip Chunto 5882.
Lei Feng Net Summary
The commercialization of 5G has led many to believe that Wi-Fi will be replaced. However, this obviously ignores the demand series of new applications, such as 8K video, AR, VR, hi-fi audio, etc. will bring rapid growth of data transmission needs, a single wireless communication alone can not meet the needs, so the 5G era Of Wi-Fi will not be replaced, but there will be more data transmission applications. However, whether it is mobile communication or short-distance wireless transmission field, professional manufacturers are less and less, the threshold is higher and higher, UNISOC in the existing technology accumulation, and constantly introduce innovative and highly competitive products, which has a very positive role in the development of the domestic semiconductor industry.