Qualcomm brings Wi-Fi up to speed with 60GHz chips - Mobile World Live

Qualcomm brings Wi-Fi up to speed with 60GHz chips

16 OCT 2018

Qualcomm touted a new family of next generation Wi-Fi chips for smartphones, routers and fixed wireless access (FWA) which incorporate mmWave spectrum to push speeds to 10Gb/s and beyond.

The company said its line up, based on the 802.11ay standard, includes the QCA6438 and QCA6428 for infrastructure and FWA applications as well as the QCA6421 and QCA6431 for mobile devices.

Until now, another Wi-Fi update, known as 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6, has garnered industry attention for its ability to bring speeds into the gigabit realm, boost coverage and cut power consumption. But the 802.11ay specification (an upgrade of WiGig technology) takes things a step further, adding 60GHz to the traditional 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands to deliver multi-gigabit speeds, ultra-low latency and increased bandwidth.

Qualcomm noted these attributes mean 60GHz Wi-Fi is well-suited for a wide range of wireless applications including mobile, fixed wireless access, enterprise, outdoor backhaul and smart home.

Rahul Patel, Qualcomm’s SVP and GM of connectivity and networking, said in a statement “mmWave holds enormous potential to support a new class of user experiences”, adding the new chipsets “provide the industry with the critical building blocks needed to take connectivity performance to the next level.”

Future prospects
It is unclear how adoption of 802.11ay products will compare to Wi-Fi 6 given propagation challenges associated with mmWave spectrum. However, a handful of companies have already expressed interest in 60GHz Wi-Fi.

Facebook earlier this year announced it is working with Qualcomm to build a multi-node wireless system based on the QCA6438 and QCA6428 chipsets for its Terragraph broadband project.

While not using the latest 802.11ay standard, Asus’ Republic of Gamers brand incorporated 60GHz Wi-Fi capabilities in its new gaming smartphone unveiled in June.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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