Qualcomm is gearing up to go all in with Wi-Fi 6
SAN FRANCISCO-At its Wi-Fi 6 Day, Qualcomm revealed that its newest chipset, announced as QCA6390 in February, will be marketed as FastConnect 6800, which, unlike the previous model, FastConnect 6200, has Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. When considered with its new Networking Pros Series for APs – also announced at Wi-Fi 6 Day – it seems Qualcomm is going all in with Wi-Fi 6.
The new chip will support up to 1.8 Gbps throughput over a combined 1024 QAM dual-band connection, and will take advantage of the exciting new features Wi-Fi 6 offers, like OFDMA and Target Wake Time (TWT), which will provide up to 67% better power efficiency. The chip can also communicate through both 2.4 and 5.0GHz bands at the same time, allowing the user to use which ever channel has the best connection at any given time.
Many expect FastConnect 6800 to be integrated into Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 865 platform.
In order to demonstrate the power of using its FastConnect 6800 and Networking Pro Series in tandem, Qualcomm recreated a typical environment where connectivity might begin to breakdown: a live event that is being streamed live on multiple cell phones.
As an artist painted on stage, roughly 12 phones were pointed at her, some of which had the FastConnect 6800, and others that did not. While her strokes slowly transformed into a purple-hued sunset, all of the phones captured her movements live and sent them to two computer monitors.
One monitor was connected to a Wi-Fi 5 access point and displayed the live video from those phones that did not have the latest FastConnect chip. There was noticeable lag and occasionally, the video would freeze entirely. The other monitor was connected using the Pro Series 1200 access point and displayed the footage being filmed by the phones with the FastConnect 6800 chip. The result was significantly smoother and something much closer to real-time capture and relay, despite the fact that numerous other devices were also accessing the network.
Though on a somewhat small scale, the demonstration showed that Qualcomm’s new technology offers improved connectivity in challenging and dense environments where devices are forced to share the network, often resulting in a slow, unreliable connection.
The Networking Pro Series goes a long way in addressing these challenges by offering up to 12 full streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity (in the 1200 tier), expanding overall available capacity and by its ability to associate and maintain connectivity for up to 1,500 clients simultaneously.
AP manufacturers will be happy with Qualcomm’s decision to develop a series of SoCs that come at different price points, depending on their ability to handle a high number of concurrent connections and network traffic because this will allow router manufacturers to target a range of buyers within the market.
In fact, at the event, NETGEAR’s SVP, Connected Home Products, David Henry announced the company’s next-generation Orbi Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system, which will use Qualcomm’s new Networking Pro Series.
And on the client side of things, it is highly likely that FastConnect 6800 will find its way into many of the upcoming Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices.
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