802.11ac WiFi is now found in many routers and devices, and the Wi-Fi alliance has so far certified close to 3,000 “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac” products. I understand that certification is not mandatory, but if you want to make sure a device works well, the certification at least means the devices have been tested for interoperability, security and application specific protocols, and found to work in a satisfactory manner.
Now the Wi-Fi alliance has announced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac Wave 2 certification program with the following new requirements:
- MU-MIMO (Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output) in order to send data to multiple devices at once to improve overall network efficiency and throughput
- 160 MHz channels support (not only 80 MHz) potentially doubling transmission speeds
- Four spatial streams instead of just three spatial streams.
- Extended 5 GHz channel support by adding more channels in the 5 GHz to reduce interference and congestion.
Currently the following WiFi SoCs, routers, and reference designs are said to be certified with Wave 2 features:
- Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC
- Marvell Avastar 88W8964
- MediaTek MT7615 AP Reference Design and MT6632 STA Reference Design
- Qualcomm IPQ8065 802.11ac 4-stream Dual-band, Dual-concurrent Router
- Quantenna QSR1000 4×4 802.11ac Wave 2 Chipset Family
According to Wi-Fi alliance website, You can check “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac (with wave 2 features)” products by following this link, and at the time of writing there are 9 products listed. However, if you show “advanced filters” in that link, only “DL MU-MIMO” is selected, and if you start selecting “160 MHz channels” and “Extended 5 GHz Channel Support”, the number drops to two items: Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC and Mediatek MT6632. So either there’s a temporary issue with the website, or the certification does not guarantee all features are included, only MU-MIMO.