A first look at Wi-fi 7

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Never mind Wi-fi 6E, MediaTek has been demoing Wi-Fi 7, claiming that it will challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications. Based on the (draft) IEEE 802.11be standard from 2021, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to easily reach 30Gbps. Apparently this will make wireless connections a viable alternative to wired networks such as Ethernet even in applications that call for very high throughput. Notably, Wi-Fi 7 works its magic by doubling the channel bandwidth to 320MHz and supporting 4K QAM technology.

From the Mediatek press release (sic):

MediaTek’s demo shows how its Wi-Fi 7 Filogic technology can achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be and demonstrates its multi-link operation (MLO) technology. MLO technology aggregates multiple channels on different frequencies bands at the same time to highlight how network traffic can still flow seamlessly even if there is interference or congestion on the bands. MLO technology will be critical for delivering faster and more reliable video streaming, gaming and anything else that requires constant, sustained and real-time throughput.

“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 is unique in that it offers completely new capabilities in all the available spectrums for Wi-Fi uses, including 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz. Wi-Fi 7 will deliver 2.4X faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6 – even with the same number of antennas – since Wi-Fi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and support 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology. Other notable features of Wi-Fi 7 include MLO to reduce latency by transmitting Wi-Fi on multiple bands, in addition to multi-user resource unit (MRU) features for enhanced interference avoidances and mitigation.

Products with Wi-Fi 7 are expected to hit the market starting in 2023 and I'll have a deep dive into the tech before then, I'm sure.

Although the speed claims are for routers 'with the same number of antennas', I'm sure we'll see 7-optimised routers next year, improving things still further.

Source / Credit: Mediatek