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Intel and Broadcom: First Wi-Fi 7 demonstration reaches 5 Gbps

Intel and Broadcom have shown the manufacturer-independent use of Wi-Fi 7 for the first time. A transmission rate of just over 5 Gbit/s was achieved. An Intel notebook already equipped with Wi-Fi 7 and a Broadcom access point with Wi-Fi 7 were used for the demonstration.

Systems with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E were also used for the demonstration to illustrate the higher transmission speed of Wi-Fi 7. A little over 1 Gbps was achieved with Wi-Fi 6, but 2 Gbps with Wi-Fi 6E and the new 6 GHz band that this standard offers. Wi-Fi 7 thus achieves 2.5 times the speed of Wi-Fi 6E. A Dell Latitude 5430 with a 12th generation Core i5 served as the notebook.

Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 was used for Wi-Fi 6 and 5 GHz, the AX211 chipset for Wi-Fi 6E, and Intel’s not yet announced Gale Peak 2 for Wi-Fi 7. For Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1600 was used, and for Wi-Fi 7 a prototype of a Broadcom tri-band access point. The server, another Latitude 5430, was connected to the router via 10 Gbit/s (Sonnet Solo 10G) and was measured with iPerf 3.11. Intel has released a video of the demonstration.

Faster and less delayed

Wi-Fi 7, the marketing name for IEEE 802.11be, is set to become the wireless standard for the next 10 years, which requires higher transmission speeds and lower latency. Wi-Fi 7 should offer both, for which, among other things, wider frequency bands with 320 MHz in the still unlicensed 6 GHz range and multi-link operation for the simultaneous connection over several bands are used. Wi-Fi 6E currently uses a maximum of channels with a width of 160 MHz. In addition, the QAM-1024 modulation is changed to a QAM-4096 modulation.

16K streaming and virtual reality

As always with faster radio standards, both streaming (Intel and Broadcom are already talking about 16K media streaming) and the use of virtual reality headsets with a radio connection should benefit greatly from the improvements. The latency when using a VR headset should be 15 times lower.

In overloaded wireless networks, the latency is even 100 times better in the worst-case scenario. According to the two companies, the interoperability between Intel and Broadcom for Wi-Fi 7 that has now been demonstrated should also be used for the development of products for the official certification of the standard.

First devices only in the second half of 2023

However, end customers will have to wait a little longer for the new standard, because devices with Wi-Fi 7 will probably not be available in stores until the second half of 2023. As always, the expensive devices will be equipped with it first, before the mass market is gradually addressed.

Qualcomm also achieves 5 Gbit/s

Competitor Qualcomm presented the first Wi-Fi 7 chipsets at the end of February this year at the MWC in Barcelona. The company attended the IFA in Berlin last week also a connection with 5 Gbit/s was demonstrated. Two channels of 160 MHz each at 5 GHz and 6 GHz were used and the data was transmitted between a router and a prototype smartphone from Qualcomm.

Mark Goodman

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