Next-Gen Wi-Fi 7 Standard Offers Near Thunderbolt 3 Speeds

Next-Gen Wi-Fi 7 Standard Offers Near Thunderbolt 3 Speeds

Taiwan-based MediaTek has shown off its Wi-Fi 7 technology, for “key customers and industry collaborators.” The company says the wireless network technology may enter the mainstream consumer hardware market as soon as next year.

MediaTek said the demonstration showed the ability of Wi-Fi 7 to achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be, the official name for the Wi-Fi 7 standard. The company’s demonstration also highlighted its multi-link operation (MLO) technology. MediaTek has been involved in the development of the Wi-Fi 7 standard since its inception.

Multi-link Operation (MLO) enables devices to simultaneously transmit and receive across different bands and channels. Wi-Fi 7 seeks to enhance these links by increasing throughput, which is the measurement data between devices in a local network (LAN). MLO will also lower latency (network server time), and improve reliability.

“The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications,” said Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek. “MediaTek‚Äôs Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office and industrial networks and provide seamless connectivity for everything from multi-player AR/VR applications to cloud gaming and 4K calls to 8K streaming and beyond.”

“Faster broadband Internet access and more demanding applications such as higher resolution video streaming and VR gaming are driving demand for Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and soon Wi-Fi 7,” said Mario Morales, group vice president, Semiconductors at IDC. “Wi-Fi 7’s advances in channel width, QAM, and new features such as multi-link operation (MLO) will make Wi-Fi 7 very attractive for devices including flagship smartphones, PCs, consumer devices and vertical industries like retail and industrial; as service providers begin to deploy a wider spectrum of hotspots across these market segments.”

Wi-Fi 7, also known as IEEE 802.11be, is said to deliver 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, using 2.4Ghz, 5GHz, and 6GHz spectrums. Wi-Fi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and supports 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology.

While Wi-Fi 6 can handle up to 9.6Gbps, the Wi-Fi Alliance says Wi-Fi 7 should be able to offer “at least 30” Gbps connections, and could potentially reach 40Gbps.