Qualcomm has unveiled its first ever Wi-Fi 6E chips, in a move that could propel the new wireless standard into the mainstream.
The new chips will allow devices to capitalize on the rapid speeds and lower latency on offer with Wi-Fi 6E, which utilizes the high-level 6Ghz spectrum.
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Wi-Fi 6E chips
Wi-Fi 6 refers to a generational shift in wireless communications - often viewed as complementary to 5G - offering greater speeds, enhanced capacity and lower latency. Wi-Fi 6E, meanwhile, builds upon the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 through the use of high-level spectrum, with tests already achieving consistent two-millisecond low latency.
Qualcomm’s new Wi-Fi 6E phone chips take the form of the FastConnect 6700 and 6900, which boast maximum speeds of up to 3Gbps and 3.6Gbps respectively in a controlled laboratory setting.
The company has already released its top-end Snapdragon chips this year, which use FastConnect 6800 and therefore do not support Wi-Fi 6E. It’s possible, then, that 6GHz support won’t arrive in flagship smartphones until the release of the next generation of Snapdragon chips.
However, Qualcomm VP of Technology, VK Jones, is bullish about the Wi-Fi 6E timeline. “My personal expectation is this is going to be a very fast transition, “ he said. “[Especially in high-end smartphones,] this is going to be added very quickly.”
The firm also unveiled four Wi-Fi 6E-compatible router chips, designed primarily for mesh networking use cases: the Networking Pro 610, 810, 1210 and 1610. The top-of-the-range chip offers 16 Wi-Fi streams and theoretical speeds of up to 10.8Gbps.
While the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now approved the use of 6GHz spectrum for unlicensed use cases, other major regions - including Europe - are yet to give Wi-Fi 6E the stamp of regulatory approval.
However, the arrival of Qualcomm’s new chips could hint at the imminent collapse of these regulatory barriers.
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Via The Verge