A key wireless communication technology

“Creating Wi-Fi 6 is not just an incremental upgrade to Wi-Fi 5, but a revolutionary technology that reflects major technological changes that will benefit billions of current and future Wi-Fi devices worldwide. “

Wi-Fi 6The latest mainstream version of the ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard, known as IEEE 802.11ax or “Wi-Fi 6,” offers substantial technical improvements over traditional Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6’s immediate predecessor— —Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE 802.11 ac). In particular, Wi-Fi 6 offers faster performance, lower power consumption, and longer battery life, while also reducing network congestion and latency. Several key technological advances have made these major improvements in Wi-Fi technology even possible.

The time is right for Wi-Fi 6 too – its benefits are valuable as consumers and businesses increasingly seek high-speed connectivity across a broad and expanding range of devices and uses, including the Internet of Things (IoT) And necessary improvements, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and self-driving cars. While IoT and AR/VR devices have been around for years, the adoption of such technologies has been delayed, in part due to network speed and congestion, issues that Wi-Fi 6 directly addresses.

Why Wi-Fi 6 matters

For the past two decades, Wi-Fi has been an important technology for wirelessly connecting devices to the Internet, allowing users to be untethered from wires and eliminate the need to wire homes and businesses or include extra ports to connect devices. Recently, Wi-Fi usage has increased significantly as consumers and businesses connect more devices to the Internet to support IoT and AR/VR technologies. In recent years, as more and more internet bandwidth is dedicated to mass video consumption and the changing workplace, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, user habits have shifted, and this hardly surprises anyone. Shock. All of this leads to the need for more access points (realworkers need a high-speed connection at home instead of using their existing office connection), lower latency and additional throughput needs (realhigh-bandwidth video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings).

Before Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi capabilities starting with Wi-Fi 5 were not technologically advanced enough to keep up with Wi-Fi’s growing and future expected high capacity, low latency, and high throughput requirements. Fi Fi, especially in high-density venues such as transit centers, stadiums, and convention centers. Wi-Fi 6 was created not just as an incremental upgrade to Wi-Fi 5, but as a revolutionary technology that reflects major technological changes that will benefit billions of current and future Wi-Fi devices worldwide .

For example, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) is an OFDM-based multi-user multiple access scheme. OFDM was invented decades ago and, at a high level, splits a large transmission into multiple smaller signals, which are transmitted simultaneously without interference due to the orthogonality of the multiple smaller signals. The main advantage of OFDMA over OFDM is that the entire channel can be allocated to a single user at one time, or it can be divided to serve multiple users at the same time according to the needs of the channel. This flexibility creates greater throughput and functionality for modern Wi-Fi demands. Likewise, the subcarrier spacing in Wi-Fi 6 is 78.125kHz, which is 25% of Wi-Fi 5’s 312.5KHz subcarrier spacing. That said, the “density” of data transmission in Wi-Fi 6 can be four times greater than in Wi-Fi 5, which offers huge advantages.

Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technology for uplink channels is another key Wi-Fi 6 enhancement, allowing a single access point (realrouter) with multiple clients (real, mobile phone) at the same time. For example, Wi-Fi 6’s uplink MU-MIMO allows multiple clients to send acknowledgment responses simultaneously, reducing response time. MU-MIMO tends to be best for multiple users with fully buffered traffic that are communicating with access points within a moderate distance.

The third major change in Wi-Fi 6 is the modification of the physical layer (PHY) and media access control (MAC) layers for efficient operation. An example of a PHY layer change is Wi-Fi 6’s 1024 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) modulation, which is four times higher than 256 QAM in Wi-Fi 5 and 16 times higher than 64 QAM in Wi-Fi4. Higher QAM increases the modulation rate transmitted during peak data transmission.

The Technical Origins of Wi-Fi 6

Technical standards, including Wi-Fi standards, are published by global technical experts, often from leading technology companies, who come together to form so-called Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs). The Wi-Fi protocol was created as part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) professional organization. Global technology companies are involved at different levels in the creation and revision of Wi-Fi standards, with some taking a leading innovation role (while others tend to stand on the sidelines). NGB Corporation to determine which entities are the largest players in Wi-Fi 6 innovation. As part of its analysis, NGB identified the number of contributions or technical modification proposals submitted to the Wi-Fi 6 standard, which indicated that Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel, Marvell/NXP, Newracom, and MediaTek had the largest number or contributions overall, in that order . NGB pointed out that Huawei was the main contributor before the release of Draft 1.0, which included most of the basic functions of Wi-Fi 6, while Qualcomm increased the number of contributions after Draft 1.0, and chipset companies began to design new chips based on the release. Draft 1.0. The list of top 20 contributors also includes some of the largest telecom, cellular, and technology companies, including Ericsson, Apple, Samsung, LG Electronics, ZTE, and more.

As the NGB report points out, the overall number of contributions to the standard does not necessarily directly equate to the number of patents necessary for the overall Wi-Fi 6 standard, or the specific improvements that make a significant contribution to the value Wi-Fi 6 provides. For example, arguably the most valuable technical enhancement of Wi-Fi 6 is OFDMA because it provides Wi-Fi with efficiency advantages. For OFDMA-related SEPs, NGB identified Huawei (#1 OFDMA SEP holder; #2 contributor) and Qualcomm (#2 OFDMA SEP holder; #1 contributor) as major contributors to this key technology By. Ultimately, not all of Wi-Fi 6’s technical improvements will be of equal value if the standard continues to evolve, thanks to Wi-Fi 6’s technical and commercial success.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos
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