The Wi-Fi Alliance announces the arrival of the WiFi 6 standard. The group is now certifying devices based on IEEE 802.11ax. These products have been shipping for several months now. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first Wi-Fi Certified 6 smartphone. A boost in peak performance was not the focus of WiFi 6, the peak performance is the same as 802.11ac, but it does promise better connectivity in shared environments, lower latency, lower power consumption, and better security.
The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance® is now available and delivers the best user experience with devices based on IEEE 802.11ax. The certification program brings new features and capabilities that enable substantially greater overall Wi-Fi® network performance in challenging environments with many connected devices such as stadiums, airports, and industrial parks. With adoption of the latest Wi-Fi generation increasing, product vendors and service providers can trust Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ will distinguish Wi-Fi 6 products and networks that meet the highest standards for security and interoperability. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 provides significant capacity, performance, and latency improvements to the entire Wi-Fi ecosystem, while ensuring products across vendors to work well together to deliver greater innovation and opportunity.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 supports a more diverse set of devices and applications, from those requiring peak performance in demanding enterprise environments to those requiring low power and low latency in smart homes or industrial IoT scenarios. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5, and is an evolutionary advancement for Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimized connectivity to all devices on a network simultaneously – bringing noticeable improvements in densely connected Wi-Fi environments. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers critical connectivity that supports cellular networks, and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, greater capacity, and enhanced coverage to deliver many advanced 5G services.
“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi, building on Wi-Fi’s core characteristics to provide better performance in every environment for users, greater network capacity for service providers to improve coverage for their customers, and new opportunities for advanced applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments.”
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers advanced security protocols and requires the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™. Advanced capabilities available in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 include:
Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments
Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently
160 MHz channels: increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency
Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices
1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum
Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity
“Wi-Fi 6 brings greater speeds and more efficiency to Wi-Fi networks, expanding its role as a critical communication platform,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 drives a higher quality experience for all Wi-Fi’s many use cases, further propelling the Wi-Fi market and ensuring Wi-Fi maintains its strong position as the connectivity landscape evolves.”
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 expands on Wi-Fi’s core strengths including affordable performance, efficient operation, commitment to security, ease of use, self-deployment, and long-term compatibility, while also supporting a more reliable user experience in areas of high user demand. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 leverages Wi-Fi’s global ubiquity to more efficiently connect users in more environments, support growing data requirements, and expand advanced use cases including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), streaming high-definition content, real-time monitoring, and mission critical applications. As more spectrum is made available for Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will only continue to drive greater global Wi-Fi innovation and economic contributions.
The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone, and Wi-Fi Alliance expects most leading phones and access points will soon support the latest generation of Wi-Fi. The first products designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 which comprise the test bed for certification include:
Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
Intel® Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)