Next Generation WiFi Silicon from Qualcomm based on IEEE 802.11ax
Qualcomm (Atheros Division) plans to sample chips using the IEEE 802.11ax specification this year. They will provide faster wireless transmission of data while consuming less power.
The company’s QCA6290 system-on-a-chip device for Wi-Fi access points is expected to be released this June. It can use both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands at the same time for peak speeds up to 1.8Gbps, the company said. It’s designed for uses that include 4K Ultra HD video streaming and videoconferencing and in-car Wi-Fi with multiple video streams.
The IEEE 802.11ax standard isn’t expected to be signed off until late next year, but it’s common for some components using a new standard to ship before that step takes place.
802.11ax is particularly aimed at high-density Wi-Fi deployments, improving not only speed, but the ability of connections to stay active even when interfered with heavily. If you’ve been to a technology convention or trade show lately, you’ll know that the existing co-existence features built into Wi-Fi aren’t really sufficient to particularly dense environments.
The specification includes using multiple antennas to send as many as 12 streams of data at the same time. But it also uses technologies from the cellular world, including traffic scheduling, which gets devices on and off the network efficiently so they don’t have to contend with each other as much.
This can help cut the power consumption of Wi-Fi by as much as two-thirds, Qualcomm says. Even users with current 11ac and older 11n devices should see better performance when they use an 11ax network, according to the company.
IEEE 802.11ax is the next generation of Wi-Fi after 802.11ac, which is already capable of gigabit speeds with the right features and conditions. That technology is still finding its way into consumers’ devices and corporate and service-provider networks. This author has an an AT&T Uverse Residential Gateway which has a built in 802.11ac WiFi AP/Router.
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