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Intel and Broadcom showcase Wi-Fi 7 reaching 5Gbps

What just happened? Intel and Broadcom held the initial successful demonstration of a “cross-vendor” Wi-Fi 7 connection this week. The function marks a milestone on the path to another major part of Wi-Fi standards. Wi-Fi 7 (also referred to as 802.11be) devices will probably are more common on the next couple of years.

In a joint presentation, Intel and Broadcom linked a laptop running among its processors to a Broadcom Wi-Fi 7 modem, achieving speeds of 5Gbps. The trial showcases a drastic leap on the current standard –Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) –which can are as long as around 1.7Gbps.

Along with allowing boosts to 5.8Gbps, Wi-Fi 7’s new band frequencies and channel bandwidths give routers more stable simultaneous connections to larger amounts of devices. Wi-Fi 6 can access 20, 40, 80, and 160MHz channel bandwidths in the two 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Wi-Fi 7 adds a 320MHz channel and a 6GHz frequency, intelligently switching between all frequencies and channels for increased stability. Intel thinks Wi-Fi 7 can help emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and 16K media streaming.

The Wi-Fi 6E standard adds 6GHz support to Wi-Fi 6 for greater bandwidth but lacks buy-in from hardware vendors. Pandemic supply chain problems made manufacturing Wi-Fi 6E-compliant products less cost-effective than keeping Wi-Fi 6 until Wi-Fi 7 arrives. Before Apple unveiled the iPhone 14 this week, speculation suggested it could incorporate Wi-Fi 6E. However, Apple’s official spec sheet because of its latest phone shoots those rumors down, and a Wi-Fi 7-ready iPhone likely won’t appear for quite a while.

Last month, Intel said it will have Wi-Fi 7-capable laptops and desktops ready for the mass market in 2024 and 2025. Others have recently demonstrated Wi-Fi 7 hardware utilizing the draft specifications. The IEEE could finalize the Wi-Fi 7 specifications in 2024.

MediaTek demonstrated the upcoming standard at CES in January which consists of hardware rather than cross-vendor trial. Qualcomm has hyped Wi-Fi 7 since 2019 and lastly unveiled its nearly platform-agnostic FastConnect 7800 chip in March at MWC. The only real Wi-FI 7 router available is H3C’s Magic BE18000 with a maximum PHY rate between 1148 and 11530Mbps.

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