Qual­comm’s 802.11ax chips

Qual­comm is get­ting ready to ship sam­ple chips for IEEE 802.11ax,

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS - re­veals Stephen Law­son

Qual­comm will start ship­ping sam­ple chips for the next gen­er­a­tion of Wi-Fi by June, help­ing de­vice and net­work ven­dors de­velop prod­ucts that might quadru­ple users’ speeds and lengthen bat­tery life.

The new sil­i­con uses an early ver­sion of IEEE 802.11ax, a spec­i­fi­ca­tion de­signed to make wire­less LANs more ef­fi­cient and in­crease their per­for­mance as a re­sult. The for­mal 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.

This 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.

The new 802.11ax stan­dard builds on some of 11ac’s tricks and adds some of its own. It’s de­signed to give bet­ter per­for­mance in tough sit­u­a­tions peo­ple en­counter in the real world, such as en­vi­ron­ments with com­pet­ing Wi-Fi net­works. Wi-Fi is likely to co­ex­ist with – and par­tic­i­pate in – an in­creas­ingly com­plex ra­dio en­vi­ron­ment as ad­vanced LTE and then 5G are de­ployed.

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 twothirds, ac­cord­ing to Qual­comm. Even users with cur­rent 11ac and older 11n de­vices should see bet­ter per­for­mance when they use an 11ax net­work, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Qual­comm called its new prod­uct line an end-to-end port­fo­lio be­cause it in­cludes sil­i­con for both ends of a client-to-net­work con­nec­tion. The IPQ8074 is an in­te­grated SoC (sys­tem on chip) for en­ter­prise ac­cess points, ser­vice-provider gate­ways and home Wi-Fi routers. It has four times the ca­pac­ity of an 11ac part and in­cludes fea­tures to cover a wider area and ease harm­ful in­ter­fer­ence in ar­eas with many over­lap­ping ac­cess points, the com­pany said.

The QCA6290 is an SoC for Wi-Fi de­vices. It can use both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands at the same time for peak speeds up to 1.8Gb/s, Qual­comm added. It’s de­signed for uses that in­clude 4K Ul­tra HD video stream­ing and video­con­fer­enc­ing and in-car Wi-Fi with mul­ti­ple video streams.

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