Marvell 802.11ax WiFi Chips are Designed for Enterprise Gateways, Mainstream Routers, and Set-Top Boxes

High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW), better known as 802.11ax, is a new WiFi standard that is supposed to deliver up to 10 Gbps bandwidth over 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies, and improve the average throughput per user by a factor of at least 4 times in dense environments. Several draft of the specifications have been voted on, but the latest 802.11ax timeline seems to indicate the final 802.11ax specifications will only be approved sometimes in 2019.

This has not prevented companies to announce or unveil 802.11ax SoC or solutions based on the draft specifications, as we’ve seen in the past with NXP Layerscape LA1575 programmable WiSoC, Qualcomm gateway reference design, and Broadcom Max WiFi chips. Marvell has now joined the fray with their 802.11ax wireless portfolio.

All Marvell 802.1ax WiSoCs support all using uplink & download OFDMA / MU-MIMO, 1024 QAM, off-channel spectrum scanning, dedicated in-service monitoring, and precision location. Three SKUs have been launched for different markets / products

  • Marvell 88W9068 8×8, 8-spatial stream device with 5-GHz support (up to 4.8 Gbps) for premium enterprise and retail access points, carrier gateways and fixed wireless services.
  • Marvell 88W9064 4×4, 4-spatial stream device with 5/2.4-GHz support (up to 2.4 Gbps) and integrated Bluetooth 5 for mainstream enterprise and retail access points, carrier gateways and fixed wireless services.
  • Marvell 88W9064S 2×4, 2-spatial stream device with 5/2.4-GHz support and integrated Bluetooth 5 for the service provider and OTT set-top box markets.
Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The chips also have PCIe 3.0 interfaces and Marvell MoChi Interconnect, beside lower speed interfaces like 2-wire setial, SPI, GPIO, and UART. 88W9068 block diagram is similar minus the Bluetooth parts, and support for 8×8 5.0 GHz only WiFi.

Marvell 802.11ax solutions will be demonstrated at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, US next year. More details can be found on Marvell’s 802.11ax WiFi solutions page. The company also uploaded the video below explaining the advantage of 802.11ax for multi-user access.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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