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Wi-Fi 6 Launches Today Sparking Onslaught Of 802.11ax Certified Devices

Faster wireless technology is officially ready as the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that Wi-Fi Certified 6 is here. New devices that launch under Wi-Fi 6 are IEEE 802.11ax compliant and bring with them new features and capabilities. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that the new wireless standard offers users "substantially greater" overall performance under challenging environments like stadiums, airports, and industrial parks.

wifi6

Wi-Fi 6 promises security, and interoperability with capacity, performance, and latency improvements compared to past standards. Wi-Fi 6 devices support peak performance in demanding conditions for enterprise users, like those requiring low power and low latency for smart homes or industrial IoT scenarios.

Wi-Fi Alliance notes that Wi-Fi 6 devices have nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5 devices. They also promise to deliver critical connectivity that supports cellular networks and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, capacity, and enhanced coverage to bring users many 5G services. Wi-Fi Certified 6 devices should eventually support the new USB4 spec that was published this month.

One key for Wi-Fi Certified 6 devices is the latest generation of Wi-Fi security -- WPA3. New capabilities 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

The first certified Wi-Fi 6 smartphone is the Galaxy Note 10 and more phones and access points will support the new tech soon (a la the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro which officially go on sale this Friday). 

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