Last year the WiFi alliance introduces a new naming scheme for WiFi using numbers instead of IEEE standards so that WiFI 4 is 802.11n, WiFi 5 is 802.11ac, and WiFi 6 is the latest 802.11ax standard with data throughput up to 10 Gbps, and a better ability to manage high-density scenarios.
Shortly after (November 2018) we also got news of the first WiFi 6 routers from ASUS and NETGEAR, but the WiFi alliance only just announced the launch of their Wi-Fi Certified 6 program that promises optimal interoperability and security.
- WPA3 WiFi security
- Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments
- Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently
- 160 MHz channels: increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency
- Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices
- 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum
- Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity
Five silicon vendors currently offer Wi-Fi Certified 6 solutions/testbeds:
- Broadcom – BCM4375, BCM43698, and BCM43684
- Cypress – CYW89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
- Intel – Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 for PCs and Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series for routers and gateways
- Marvell – 88W9064 (4×4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA and 88W9064 (4×4) + 88W9068 (8×8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
- Qualcomm – Networking Pro 1200 Platform and FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
Some of the first certified products include Samsung Galaxy Note10 smartphone and Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point.
More details about Wi-Fi Certified 6 program can be found on Wi-FI Alliance website.