At the WBAWGC conference, Intel showed how the development of the new generation of wireless Wi-Fi interface continues. He confirmed that these are no longer just crazy ideas in the minds of engineers, but that the first designs are already in the works: design specifications.
Version 1.0 should be ready in May next year, with the final specification of the standard coming three years later. The first real products will probably arrive in the meantime. We know from historical experience that Wi-Fi routers often use early technologies in concept form. But enough paperwork, what can we really look forward to?
Wi-Fi 7 will be based on the IEEE standard 802.11be and builds on existing versions of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, in comparison to which it adds speed and features. The maximum theoretical throughput of Wi-Fi 6 (E) is 9.6 Gb / s, Wi-Fi 7 gets up to 46.1 Gbps, ie 4.8 × more.
The increase is due to three major innovations. The channel width is doubled to 320 MHz, the number of simultaneous data streams is doubled to 16, and the more efficient 4096-QAM modulation is used, which can send 25% more information per Hertz than the current 1024-QAM.
|Wi-Fi 1||802.11b||2.4 GHz||up to 20 MHz||1||64-QAM||11 Mb / s|
|Wi-Fi 2||802.11a||5 GHz||up to 20 MHz||1||64-QAM||54 Mb / s|
|Wi-Fi 3||802.11g||2.4 GHz||up to 20 MHz||1||64-QAM||54 Mb / s|
|Wi-Fi 4||802.11n||2.4 + 5 GHz||up to 40 MHz||4||64-QAM||600 Mb / s|
|Wi-Fi 5||802.11ac||5 GHz||up to 160 MHz||4||256-QAM||3.5 Gb / s|
|Wi-Fi 6||802.11ax||2.4 + 5 GHz||up to 160 MHz||8||1024-QAM||9.6 Gb / s|
|Wi-Fi 6E||802.11ax||2.4 + 5 + 6 GHz||up to 160 MHz||8||1024-QAM||9.6 Gb / s|
|Wi-Fi 7||802.11be||2.4 + 5 + 6 GHz||up to 320 MHz||16||4096-QAM||46.1 Gb / s|
Maximum values only we will only achieve this in laboratories, real products usually do not meet the specifications of the pith. Sixteen streams means 16 antennas. Top routers slowly turned from spiders to centipedes. Also, higher modulation levels are not always the best solution because they require a better signal and therefore have a lower range.
Where the speeds can be really multiplied, however, there are wider channels. Wi-Fi 7 works just like the 6E in the new 6 GHz band, where there are enough frequencies for such games. The problem is, so far only the United States has released the tape for unlicensed use. Since this spring, the Americans can have a bandwidth of 1200 MHz in the band of 5925 to 7125 MHz.
The old continent is still awaiting release. The European Commission was likely to open it next year. However, the allocation will not be as generous as in the US, only 500 MHz will be released between the frequencies 5925 and 6425 MHz. However, this is sufficient for one “seven” 320 MHz channel.
How are Wi-Fi speeds 4, 5 and 6 practically different?
Little brother Wi-Fi
In addition to WiFi, there is technology WiGig. It operates in the 60 GHz band without a license and is based on the standard IEEE 802.11ad. In Europe it has four very wide channels (2.16 GHz), which can achieve throughput speeds of up to 7 Gb / s, but conventional hardware usually offers “only” 4.6 Gb / s. The problem is that even common hardware is a rarity. Unfortunately, WiGig did not catch on at home, support in routers or computers and smartphones is very low.
Such high frequencies allow fast communication, but over short distances and without obstacles in the form of walls. Nevertheless, such a router in the room could quickly connect to NAS, desktop and TV, for example, to store the classic Wi-Fi bands for cell phones, laptops and other portable devices.
WiGig, however, has found another application for mobile phones. Asus uses it on phones (like ROG Phone 3) to connect the docking station wirelessly. The already defunct Essential Phone was then used for an external camera. He used magnetic pins to attach to the phone and draw power from it, but the data transfer was wireless.
|2.4 GHz||2400 to 2483.5 MHz||83.5 MHz||inside me outside|
|5 GHz||5150 to 5350 MHz||200 MHz||within|
|5470 to 5725 MHz||255 MHz||inside me outside|
|5725 to 5875 MHz||150 MHz||indoor and outdoor with limited performance|
|6 GHz||5925 to 6425 MHz||500 MHz||inside and outside, not yet harmonized|
|60 GHz||57 GHz to 66 GHz||9 GHz||inside me outside|
|* the band has not been released yet|
WiGig is also evolving. A new standard will probably be approved next year 802.11ay. It should use up to four times wider channels, introduce MIMO with eight streams, and again more efficient modulation. The result should be permeability up to 176 Gbps. In addition, the range of the network will increase from units of meters to lower tens of meters. This would be an interesting technology for fast networks of the whole household, but also for wireless and lossless transmission of image and sound for VR glasses. Perhaps this tire is finally gaining ground thanks to its properties.
Incidentally, it has already gained ground in another area. A year ago, the CTU released the 60GHz spectrum for outdoor use, and regional operators are already delivering the Internet at speeds of hundreds of megabits per second. Wi-Fi does not reach such speeds outside and the networks are already full of those on the air. With narrow 60GHz beams there is no risk of interference.
How to speed up WiFi at home?