• Wi-Fi 7, also known as the IEEE 802.11b standard, is expected to provide a maximum throughput of at least 30 Gbps.
  • The new technology looks promising because it can address all the needs of all the applications consumers enjoy today and open the door for future AR/VR applications.

The WiFi 6 technology may still have just arrived, and efforts to streamline it may still be on, but this has not stopped Taiwan-based chipset giant MediaTek to make Wi-Fi 7, the next generation of the wireless network protocol, a reality. It has started to demo its WiFi 7 hardware to key customers and industry collaborators. The company also confirmed that Wi-Fi 7 products are expected to be made available in 2023.

Presently known as IEEE 802.11be standard, Wi-Fi 7 will support faster speeds and reduce network congestion. The Wi-Fi Alliance is still creating the standard and, thus, Wi-Fi 7 isn’t available yet. This technology is expected to provide a max throughput of “at least 30GBps,” according to the Wi-FI Alliance, which is quite a bump from Wi-Fi 6’s 9.6GBps claim and an even bigger jump from WiFi 5’s 3.5GBps.

According to MediaTek, its first Wi-Fi 7 Filogic connectivity products are expected to launch in 2023. On the other hand, tech analysts are of the opinion that these might be just prototypes or business devices.

The next Wi-Fi standard wants to manage the growing networking needs of evolving technologies, like 4K and 8K streaming, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud gaming and computing. It aims to do so by reducing latency and jitter through improvements to the physical (PHY) layer and medium access control (MAC).

WiFi 7 supports speeds up to 40Gbit/s, which is 2.4 times that of WiFi 6 and 6E. It uses all the frequency bands, including 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz.  The new technology looks promising because it can address all the needs of all the applications consumers enjoy today and also open the door for future AR/VR applications.

What has Mediatek been doing?

The Taiwan-based company has been developing the WiFi 7 standard since its inception.  It is one of the first adopters of Wi-Fi 7 technology. Its Fologic chipsets offer fast, reliable connectivity for broadband routers, mesh systems, enterprise access points and retail routers.

It uses the Wi-Fi 7 Filogic chips to achieve the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be. During its demo, it used multi-link operation (MLO) technology, which combines multiple channels on different frequencies bands at the same time to underscore how network traffic can flow flawlessly even when there is interference or congestion on the bands. It aims to use the MLO technology to deliver faster and more reliable video streaming and gaming.

Expert Take

“The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications,” Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek was quoted as saying in a media release.

“MediaTek’s Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office and industrial networks and provide seamless connectivity for everything from multi-player AR/VR applications to cloud gaming and 4K calls to 8K streaming and beyond,” he added

“Wi-Fi 7’s advances in channel width, QAM [quadrature amplitude modulation], and new features, such as multi-link operation (MLO), will make Wi-Fi 7 very attractive for devices including flagship smartphones, PCs, consumer devices, and vertical industries, like retail and industrial; as service providers begin to deploy a wider spectrum of hotspots across these market segments,” Mario Morales, group vice president of semiconductors at IDC, said in a statement accompanying MediaTek’s announcement.