Qualcomm unveils next gen 802.11ax Wi-Fi portfolio

IPQ8074 system-on-chip for network infrastructure and QCA6290 solution for client devices will aid those developing the next Wi-Fi standard, which aims to deliver 4x more capacity, 4x faster connections, extended range and longer battery life

Qualcomm unveils next gen 802.11ax Wi-Fi portfolio

Qualcomm has announced a portfolio of solutions to support development of the 802.11ax next generation standard of Wi-Fi. Qualcomm has delivered an end-to-end 802.11ax portfolio, which includes the IPQ8074 system-on-chip (SoC) for network infrastructure and QCA6290 solution for client devices.

802.11ax is focusing primarily on expanding network capacity and making better use of Wi-Fi spectrum to maintain good connectivity in more complex environments. As Wi-Fi networks become more crowded, dense and diverse, Qualcomm’s 802.11ax solutions are designed to improve connected experiences.

802.11ax should deliver up to 4x greater capacity to make Wi-Fi traffic more efficient, resulting in up to 4x faster user throughput and longer battery life for Wi-Fi devices. Qualcomm expects to sample the IPQ8074 and QCA6290 in the first half of 2017.

Qualcomm argues the growing number of connected devices, diversity of traffic, and density of overlapping networks is currently overloading Wi-Fi spectrum and threatens the quality of connected experiences.

To address this, Qualcomm’s 802.11ax solutions support 12-streams (eight 5GHz and four 2.4GHz), 8x8 MU-MIMO, 80 MHz channels and other features to maximize capacity and coverage.

Additionally, the solutions feature proven cellular techniques, such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and traffic scheduling, which is designed to provide greater efficiency, higher user throughput, and a more consistent performance.

This managed approach of resource allocation, along with the optimisation of wake-up time, can reduce Wi-Fi power consumption by 2/3rd to extend device battery life without adversely impacting performance.

Although the benefits will be greatest for 11ax-based devices, Qualcomm said has designed its solutions to improve the performance of all devices, including ones using the previous 802.11ac and 802.11n technologies, which are designed to realize better connections on 11ax networks.

“CAPACITY – not peak speed – has become the most important measure of a network’s ability to handle the ever-increasing demands of today’s diverse mix of application and services,” said Rahul Patel, senior vice president & general manager, connectivity, Qualcomm.

“We were the first to commercialise capacity utilisation-focused solutions, such as MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi SON and 802.11ad, and are now on the front lines of 11ax innovation that will propel the Wi-Fi industry into the next phase of high-capacity, high-efficiency networks.

“The transformative features of our 802.11ax solutions are designed to enable our customers to meet these demands, ensuring ample Wi-Fi capacity for richer connected experiences,” said Patel.

IPQ8074 key features
The IPQ8074 is a highly-integrated SoC designed to deliver maximum capacity, range and performance for the next generation of enterprise access points, carrier gateways and consumer routers.

Up to 4x capacity to maximize network performance: Utilising a 12x12 configuration, uplink and downlink MU-MIMO, and supporting eight 80 MHz streams, the IPQ8074 quadruples capacity, delivers up to 4.8 Gbps, and maintains fast connections over larger coverage areas.

Smart features for seamless connectivity: In addition to Qualcomm Wi-Fi self-organising network (SON), which simplifies installation, optimises traffic, and reduces dead spots, the IPQ8074 offers unique features to reduce harmful interference in dense areas with many overlapping Wi-Fi access points.

All-in-one platform: Integrates an 11ax radio, MAC and baseband, plus a quad-core 64-bit A53 CPU and dual-core network accelerator to provide a fully-offloaded 11ax subsystem. The 14nm design provides power and size advantages, while a wide range of external WAN and media interfaces allows customers to build a full portfolio of 802.11ax products.

QCA6290 key features
The QCA6290 is a state-of-the-art 802.11ax client device SoC offering unprecedented throughput, battery-life and rich user experiences in homes, enterprises, public venues and other high-traffic areas, and automobiles.

Up to 4x increase in user throughput in crowded networks: Supports 2x2 MU-MIMO and realizes the full benefits of the 8x8 MU-MIMO by supporting the advanced 8x8 sounding mechanism.

Ultra-fast Gigabit speed for richer user experiences: Offers up to 1.8 Gbps peak speeds through Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) combining 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and higher order modulation (1024 QAM).

Reduces power consumption by 2/3rd through Qualcomm specific optimisations, in addition to the support for the 802.11ax standard power save features.

With its 802.11ax Wi-Fi capabilities and rich-set of features, QCA6290 is designed to enhance connected experiences, such as 4K Ultra HD video streaming and video-conferences, content sharing, social media and file transfers.

The combination of DBS with the increased capacity and throughput also allows for improved experiences in vehicles, including Gigabit in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, content sharing between brought-in devices and the car’s infotainment system, and support for multiple video streams along with screen mirroring.

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