Qualcomm launches new chipsets to support 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard

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Qualcomm has launched two new Wi-Fi solutions that support the new 802.11ax standard in a bid to expand network capacity.

The IPQ8074 is a system-on-chip (SoC) for network infrastructure, which is designed to be used in access points, carrier gateways and consumer routers.

Qualcomm said the IPQ8074 offers up to four times the network capacity of current 802.11ac solutions, providing up to 4.8GBps. In particular, it is designed to reduce interference in dense areas of overlapping Wi-Fi access points.

The platform includes an 11ax radio, MAC and baseband, a quad-core 64-bit A53 CPU and dual-core network accelerator. Sized at 14nm, the SoC uses a 12x12 configuration, uplink and downlink MU-MIMO and supports eight 80MHz streams.

It includes Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi Self-Organizing Network, which simplifies installation and optimises traffic.

The QCA6290, launched simultaneously, is the corresponding SoC for the handset. Qualcomm said it offers a fourfold increase in user throughput in crowded networks, with up to 1.8GBps peak speeds and 1024 QAM.

It supports 2x2 MU-MIMO, the 8x8 sounding mechanism and reduces power consumption by two thirds compared to 802.11ac.

The vendor expects to offer beta versions of the IPQ8074 and QCA6290 to manufacturers in the first half of 2017.

“Capacity – not peak speed – has become the most important measure of a network’s ability to handle the ever-increasing demands of today’s diverse mix of application and services,” said Rahul Patel, SVP & General Manager of Connectivity at Qualcomm Technologies. “The transformative features of our 802.11ax solutions are designed to enable our customers to meet these demands, ensuring ample Wi-Fi capacity for richer connected experiences.”

802.11ax is set to be one part of a mix of wireless connectivity technologies that will be used in coming years as networking companies aim to cope with increasing traffic demands from more devices and more demanding applications.

A report by ABI Research predicted that 60 percent of all wireless IC shipments will be Wi-Fi chipsets that incorporate 802.11ax, WiGig or HaLow by 2021.

The 802.11ax standard will deliver better network efficiency, while other standards will address consumer demand for higher through-put applications, the report said.