Jan 28, 2021
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
These are challenging times, where global shifts in how labor, education, and healthcare are delivered are likewise testing connectivity ecosystems in homes, businesses, and beyond. With more devices requiring increased high bandwidth/low latency than ever before, a race to deliver next-gen Wi-Fi connectivity is accelerating before our eyes. ABI Research reports that the global rate of adoption for Wi-Fi 6, the latest and most impactful generation of Wi-Fi ever, tripled in 2020 compared to the year prior. Wi-Fi 6 adds new techniques to deliver massive capacity, along with an enormous surge in performance and network stability to the many devices populating our congested environments.
Wi-Fi 6 Performance Profiled
We’ve previously discussed how and why our differentiated approach makes a simple choice for our customers building routers and smartphones that are designed to deliver the full promise of Wi-Fi 6. We are now multiple generations into our Wi-Fi 6 portfolios, spanning our Qualcomm FastConnect Systems for mobile and compute to our Qualcomm Networking Pro Series and Qualcomm Immersive Home Platforms that deliver distinctive Wi-Fi 6 network architectures for enterprise, carrier, and retail home implementations, respectively. The future is here, with products based on these platforms and technologies becoming commercially available.
An excellent illustration of our promise realized is a pair of devices launched by Xiaomi last month: the Mi Router AX6000 (featuring our Immersive Home 216 platform), and the Mi 11 smartphone based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform, which attaches our FastConnect 6900 system. A promotional video of a Xiaomi demo pits a Mi 11 smartphone against a competitor’s Wi-Fi 6 silicon found in another commercially available smartphone. The results speak for themselves. Look for an upcoming blog post that takes a deeper dive into a similar scenario, with a focus on supporting uplink traffic – an increasingly critical consideration in our seemingly endless video-conferencing reality.
Over the coming months, we’re excited to see more smartphones, PCs, routers, access points, and other devices deliver this kind of performance. These devices, along with others recently launched like the H3C BX54 Router and many more based on our Wi-Fi 6 technology, can be viewed in our device finders for networking and mobile.
New spectrum for Wi-Fi 6
Another exciting development is the Wi-Fi Alliance’s announcement of its Wi-Fi 6E certification program. The certification program is a critical milestone signaling the imminent arrival of commercial products applying Wi-Fi 6 features to new spectrum (learn all about Wi-Fi 6E and 6GHz spectrum). From the start, Qualcomm Technologies has been well represented in the collection of devices passing certification (aka, the “official testbed”) – meaning our customers can leverage our technologies to deliver Wi-Fi 6E certified products right away.
While the first Wi-Fi 6E smartphones are just arriving and full market penetration will take a bit longer, there is immediate Wi-Fi 6E value for consumers in the form of Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Networks. A system like the recently announced Linksys AXE8400, based on our Networking Pro 1210 platform, leverages our Qualcomm Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 technology to dynamically access the 6GHz band for both backhaul and fronthaul traffic. This implementation of Wi-Fi 6E uses our most advanced mesh technology designed to boost overall performance for every device (Wi-Fi 4, 5, 6, or 6E) in the home decongesting the airwaves and leveraging multi-gigabit backhaul capabilities.
With 6GHz available today in the U.S., U.K., South Korea, and Chile, comprehensive global roll-out of the 6GHz spectrum is quickening. Many other regions are anticipated to follow suit within the year.
As the overall acceleration of Wi-Fi 6 continues, we expect the proliferation of Wi-Fi 6E to accelerate as well. And not a minute too soon.