Qualcomm’s next generation Wi-Fi chips promise blazing speeds, unless you’re hiding behind a corner

Qualcomm’s next generation Wi-Fi chips promise blazing speeds, unless you’re hiding behind a corner
Qualcomm’s most popular for its System-on-a-chip product lines, like the Snapdragon 845 that’s inside most flagships, but the company offers top solutions in other areas as well. Wireless connectivity is one where Qualcomm products are a preferred choice. The company makes chips both for 4G (now 5G as well) and Wi-Fi, and the latest category is where Qualcomm’s newest product is about to shine.

Qualcomm has released a new family of Wi-Fi chips: QCA64x8 and QCA64x1, 64x8 chips will power infrastructure and fixed devices, while 64x1 chips are reserved for mobile applications. Both are capable of delivering data speeds of up to 10 Gbps, two times higher than the maximum speeds previous chips allowed. 

The new chips are part of a new Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ay and operate at a 60 GHz frequency. Sadly, the amazingly fast speeds come with a drawback, and a significant one at that. High frequency waves can transfer a lot of data, but are very bad at going through obstacles, meaning that any significant barrier (a wall for example) between the receiving device and the transmitter will interrupt the signal. This is why the new chips support previous generations of Wi-Fi that use lower frequencies to provide good coverage (but at lower speeds) and combine them to give you the best connection depending on the conditions.

One of the most obvious uses for the high bandwidth that comes with the new chip is VR. Whether it’s a standalone headset or a pair of goggles that you put your phone in, the new technology will enable future devices to receive ultra-high definition images over the air. Cloud gaming is starting to gain popularity, but internet speeds and high latency are still an obstacle for its mass adoption. When the 802.11ay standard becomes common, you might be able to play triple A games without investing in powerful hardware.

Don’t get excited just yet, however, as with every cutting-edge technology, it will take some time before it trickles down to the average consumer. Not only do we need to wait until the new chip gets into smartphones available on the market, but Wi-Fi routers that supports 802.11ay as well. This makes the wait for 10 Gb home Wi-Fi network a long one. Oh, and you’d need to get an internet connection that fast to your home as well, not exactly an easy thing to do.

source: Qualcomm

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