- One of the key responsibilities of the Wi-Fi Alliance is to assist wireless device manufacturers in ensuring that their products offer reliable connectivity.
- Wi-Fi 7 introduces a new modulation algorithm named 4K QAM, which can process data 20% faster than the preceding software.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has initiated the certification process for devices supporting Wi-Fi 7, the newest version of the widely used wireless networking standard.
The announcement of this move was made recently at the CES 2024 consumer electronics event in Las Vegas by the group. The initiation of the certification program represents a significant milestone in the industry’s deployment of Wi-Fi 7, offering the potential for significantly accelerated wireless connections. This technology is expected to be integrated into handsets, personal computers, routers, and other devices soon.
Wi-Fi Alliance Chief Executive Officer Kevin Robinson said, “The introduction of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 marks the emergence of the latest generation of Wi-Fi and will be an accelerant to mass adoption of Wi-Fi 7.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance operates as an industry consortium, enjoying support from major chipmakers and numerous other tech companies. One of the key responsibilities of the Wi-Fi Alliance is to assist wireless device manufacturers in ensuring that their products offer reliable connectivity. Devices that correctly implement the Wi-Fi standard can be eligible for a certificate from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Wi-Fi 7, the latest iteration of the networking standard, holds the promise of substantial enhancements to wireless connections. In its previous iteration, the technology-enabled devices transmit data at up to 10 gigabits per second. Wi-Fi 7 significantly advances by quadrupling the maximum supported throughput to 40 gigabits per second, alongside a commitment to reduce latency.
A crucial factor contributing to Wi-Fi 7’s enhanced performance is a feature known as MLO or multilink operations. MLO enables wireless devices to optimize the utilization of available sections in the radio spectrum more efficiently.
In Wi-Fi terminology, a channel refers to a specific radio frequency or set of frequencies over which a Wi-Fi device transmits data. A device’s bandwidth is directly related to the number of channels it supports; more channels equate to increased bandwidth. Indeed, a router transmitting data over three frequencies has the potential to offer three times the bandwidth compared to a single-frequency device. This translates to faster download speeds for users.
The MLO feature in Wi-Fi 7 introduces the capability for devices to distribute a wireless connection across a greater number of frequency sets or channels than was previously achievable. This advancement contributes to accelerating download speeds. Additionally, the technology enhances the reliability of network links. In the event of interference on one of the frequencies a device uses for a wireless connection, the data can still be transmitted over the unaffected frequencies, ensuring continued connectivity.
Wi-Fi 7 brings various improvements, notably enhancing the standard’s modulation algorithm. This algorithm is pivotal in encoding data into radio waves. Wi-Fi 7 introduces a new modulation algorithm named 4K QAM, which can process data 20% faster than the preceding software.
As of now, six hardware manufacturers have enlisted for Wi-Fi 7 certifications from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The group comprises Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc., Broadcom Inc., Ruckus Networks Inc., MediaTek Inc., and MaxLinear, Inc. While the Wi-Fi Alliance officially launched its certification program today, some initial participants have already introduced products incorporating Wi-Fi 7 support.
The consortium anticipates that 233 million devices with Wi-Fi 7 compatibility will be shipped this year. Looking ahead to 2028, this number is projected to surge nearly tenfold, reaching 2.1 billion.