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Qualcomm Announces 802.11ay Wi-Fi Chips That Can Transmit 10 Gbps Within Line-of-Sight

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-10-17 20:24:29

Qualcomm's new Wi-Fi chips are meant to rival 5G speeds []

Qualcomm is launching a family of chips that can add incredibly high-speed Wi-Fi — at speeds up to 10 gigabits per second — to phones, laptops, routers, and so on. It's the start of a new generation of this super-fast Wi-Fi standard, but it isn't going to be used to speed up your typical web browsing. And whether it catches on at all remains an open question.

[...] WiGig relies on a connection standard known as 802.11ad, which can hit speeds up to 5 gigabits per second over close to 10 meters, according to Dino Bekis, the head of Qualcomm's mobile and compute connectivity group. Qualcomm's latest chips move WiGig up to a new generation of that wireless standard, called 802.11ay, which Bekis says can reach speeds twice as fast, and can do so up to 100 meter away. The Wi-Fi Alliance says the new standard "increases the peak data rates of WiGig and improves spectrum efficiency and reduces latency."

So why not just use this as normal Wi-Fi, given how fast it gets? Because that range is only line-of-sight — when there's literally nothing in the way between the transmitter and the receiver. This high-speed Wi-Fi is based on millimeter wave radio waves in the 60GHz range. That means it's really fast, but also that it has a very difficult time penetrating obstacles, like a wall. That's a problem if you want a general purpose wireless technology.

[...] It's not clear if this will really catch on, though. While there's definitely room for adoption from VR gamers, the earlier version of this tech has found minimal pickup in its couple years on the market. Asus recently made interesting use of it with the ROG Phone, which is designed for gamers. And Qualcomm says it's working with Facebook to use this tech for its Terragraph project, which wirelessly delivers home internet connections.

With 5:1 "visually lossless" compression [], 10 Gbps could be enough for 5K @ 120 Hz [].

Qualcomm press release [].

Also at Engadget [].

Related: AMD Acquires Nitero, a Maker of Wireless Chips for VR Headsets []
Intel to Cease Shipments of Current WiGig Products, Focus on WiGig for VR []
VirtualLink Consortium Announces USB Type-C Specification for VR Headsets []
Wi-Fi Alliance Rebrands Wi-Fi Standards []

Original Submission