Qualcomm sampling Wi-Fi 7 silicon for next-gen access points

OEMs able to develop new products with aim of 10Gbps-plus throughput


Qualcomm is sampling its Wi-Fi 7 Networking Pro Series chips aimed at throughput of more than 10Gbps for enterprise access points, gateways, and premium home routers.

The third generation of the chipmaker's Networking Pro Series platforms is set to "initiate a new era" of 10Gbps Wi-Fi, Qualcomm claimed, stating that the new portfolio is optimized for multi-user environments and low CPU utilization to power collaboration, telepresence, and metaverse applications for both home and enterprise environments.

Sampling means that the Networking Pro silicon is available to Qualcomm's OEM customers so they can develop and test the Wi-Fi 7 products that will ship to end users at some point. It isn't clear when buyers will actually be able to get their hands on kit to deploy, although Qualcomm previously said it expects to see Wi-Fi 7 products hit the market in 2023.

According to Qualcomm, the Wi-FI 7 Networking Pro portfolio will initially comprise the following products:

  • Networking Pro 1620: Quad-band, 16-stream, 33.1Gbps peak wireless capacity for stadium, large enterprise, premium home mesh systems
  • Networking Pro 1220: Tri-band, 12-stream, 21.6Gbps peak wireless capacity for enterprise, SMB, prosumer, and premium home mesh systems
  • Networking Pro 820: Quad-band, 8-stream, 13.7Gbps peak wireless capacity for enterprise, SMB, prosumer, and premium home mesh systems
  • Networking Pro 620: Tri-band, 6-stream, 10.8Gbps peak wireless capacity for enterprise, SMB, gaming, and home mesh systems

That figure of 33.1Gbps represents the peak aggregate wireless capacity of the access point or router, with individual point-to-point connections potentially exceeding 10Gbps. Meanwhile, the quad-band refers to the fact that Wi-Fi 7 can operate in the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz portions of the wireless spectrum, with mesh routers often reserving part of the 5GHz band as a dedicated channel between mesh-connected access points.

Wi-Fi 7 itself offers increased performance by doubling the channel bandwidth to 320MHz and new capabilities such as simultaneous multi-link operation, which allows a device to use more than one channel at the same time, analogous to the way that channel bonding works in wired Ethernet networks by aggregating traffic across the links for higher overall throughput.

Qualcomm said that when paired with Wi-Fi 7 endpoint silicon such as its own FastConnect 7800, the new Networking Pro Series platform supports High Band Simultaneous (HBS) Multi-Link, which operates using only the 5GHz and 6GHz bands to provide the optimum throughput and latency.

"Combining support for the latest Wi-Fi 7 innovations with our unique product platform architecture, the platform enables solutions ranging from whole-home mesh to powerful connectivity networks for large public venues. With this product line, we anticipate a new class of customer systems for both today's applications and the emerging Wi-Fi 7 ecosystem," Nick Kucharewski, Qualcomm's senior VP for Wireless Infrastructure and Networking, said in a statement.

The Wi-Fi 7 portfolio from Qualcomm comes as network vendors are still ramping up Wi-Fi 6E products, which are compatible with Wi-Fi 6 but can also use the 6GHz band of the wireless spectrum.

This situation led analyst firm Dell'Oro Group to forecast earlier this year that many customers might skip Wi-Fi 6E entirely, with the reasoning being that supply chain problems in the semiconductor industry could limit availability of Wi-Fi 6E products, and by the time things get back to normal, Wi-Fi 7 kit will be arriving.

However, this version of events was disputed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit organization that owns the Wi-Fi trademark, which countered that Wi-Fi 6E products are already widely available, and that adoption is growing.

Whoever turns out to be right, it looks like buyers can count on having higher-performance Wi-Fi available soon. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022