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WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers
WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers

WiFi 6E is the name of the next generation of wireless networks, which will bring significant improvements when it comes to connecting to the Internet, and Qualcomm already has new chips to make it possible in its ranges FastConnect and Networking Pro

After the name changes to WiFi 4, 5 and 6, which make it easier to understand its evolution, WiFi 6E is an extension of what was previously known as WiFi ax. Its biggest novelty is that supports the 6 GHz band, apart from the traditional 2, 4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Therefore, with WiFi 6E the electromagnetic spectrum of WiFi is expanded, there is more "space" to send data. Thanks to this, it is possible to increase speed and reduce congestion in areas with many networks, in addition to decrease latency and extend coverage

While 6 GHz has a harder time penetrating walls and objects, it opens up new possibilities. For example, devices that need higher performance (mobile phones, PCs or consoles, for example) can use 6 GHz, while less demanding devices (especially smart home devices) will continue at 2.4 GHz.

In addition, WiFi Mesh systems, which create a single network from several routers, can take advantage of 6 GHz to communicate with each other (so-called "backhaul"), leaving traditional bands free for devices.

To make WiFi 6E a reality, chips that support it are necessary, and this is where the new Qualcomm FastConnect models come in (which will be integrated into computers) and Qualcomm Networking Pro (for routers and network equipment).

FastConnect 6900 and 6700

WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers
WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers

The new Qualcomm chips are intended for end devices, such as PCs, and that manufacturers integrate inside them. The most advanced model will be FastConnect 6900, reaching 3.6 Gbps theoretical maximum speed. Compared to FastConnect 6700, it comes close to a maximum of 3 Gbps.

This is possible by improving data modulation, taking advantage of WiFi more efficiently. This is especially noticeable in the WiFi 6E, with more channels available, which makes things easier when there are many devices connected or congestion from other nearby WiFi networks.

In addition, the new Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 and 6700 support Bluetooth 5.2, highly focused on improving the quality of transmitted audio. A second antenna is added, and connection stability is increased with reduced power consumption.

They also support the LE Audio protocol, designed to share music between multiple devices without consuming too much battery power, and the aptX Adaptive codec that adjusts to different environments, including gaming, where low latency is important.

Networking Pro

WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers
WiFi 6E: new Qualcomm chips for mobile phones and routers

Qualcomm Networking Pro chips are intended for routers and other networking devices, whether for the home or those that create the networks Public WiFi, where WiFi 6E will be a significant improvement.

In these environments, Qualcomm claims they can connect up to 2,000 users at a time, with optimized management of the traffic they perform. Within the network, the devices can transmit data up to 2.4 Gbps between them.

WPA3 encryption is supported, and WiFi Mesh systems get a major boost when using 6 GHz to transmit your data internally, leaving the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands exclusively for connected devices.

In total, 4 models will be launched, each with specific features:

  1. Networking Pro 1610: up to 10.8 Gbps and 16 connections, 8x8 antennas, with 4 A53 cores at 2.2 GHz.
  2. Networking Pro 1210: Up to 8.4 Gbps and 12 connections, with 4 A53 cores at 2.2 GHz.
  3. Networking Pro 810: Up to 6.6 Gbps and 8 connections, with 4 A53 cores at 1.8 GHz.
  4. Networking Pro 610: Up to 5.4 Gbps and 6 connections, with 4 A53 cores at 1.8 GHz.

It will be the various manufacturers who will bring the new FastConnect and Networking Pro platforms to the market in their next devices, although it is expected that in 2020 WiFi 6E will begin to take off.

We will need both the sending and receiving equipment to support WiFi 6E to take advantage of its advantages, except in the case of Mesh routers that use 6 GHz to communicate with each other, where the improvement will not require additional hardware.

The big problem is that in Spain 6 GHz WiFi is still not authorized, so we depend on your approval in the coming months. In principle, it will be regulated jointly in the European Union.

Unfortunately, it is proposed to grant some 500 Hz space for WiFi 6E in Europe, less than half that of 1,200 Hz that the United States has already released. And it is that these frequencies have other uses at the moment, but less space means limiting the speed and the ability to decongest the networks.

In any case, the new Qualcomm's FastConnect and Networking Pro are the basis for bringing WiFi 6E to the general public, something key for tasks like video calls, 4K video streaming or online gaming that place heavy demands on connections.

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