While the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and its Wi-Fi 6E “upgrade” is still underway, the Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE802.11be), the next generation of the wireless connection standard, is expected to be available next year.
Just a few days ago, Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek announced that it is offering certain “key customers” and partners the first live demonstrations of Wi-Fi 7 in use.
Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek said: “The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications.” He sees Wi-Fi 7 as the future backbone in the field of wireless augmented and virtual reality applications and 8K video streaming.
Wi-Fi 7 supports speeds up to 40 Gbps, 2.4 times faster than Wi-Fi 6 and 6E by using all unlicensed Wi-Fi frequency bands — 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz. Faster speeds are achieved with the same number of antennas because Wi-Fi 7 can use 320 MHz channels and support 4K Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) technology.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi 7 will support throughput of 30 Gbps or more, which is a big step up from the maximum 9.6 Gbps speeds available with Wi-Fi 6.
Another improvement will come from multi-link operation (MLO) technology. This feature aggregates multiple channels in different frequency bands at the same time to improve network traffic even if there is interference or congestion in the bands. MLO technology will be critical to delivering streaming video or gaming that requires consistent, sustained, real-time performance.
MediaTek has been involved in the development of the Wi-Fi 7 standard since its inception. The company is one of the first to introduce Wi-Fi 7 technology.