It’s looking increasingly likely that Wi-Fi 7 will be an option next year. This week, Qualcomm joined the list of chipmakers describing Wi-Fi 7 products they expect will soon be available to homes and businesses.
The Wi-Fi Alliance, which creates Wi-Fi standards and includes Qualcomm as a member, has said Wi-Fi 7 will offer a maximum throughput of “at least 30 Gbps,” and on Wednesday Qualcomm said its Network Pro Series Gen 3 platform will support “up to 33 Gbps”. These are theoretical speeds you probably won’t get at home, and you’ll need a premium broadband connection and Wi-Fi 7 devices, which don’t exist yet. Still, the speeds represent an impressive jump from the 9.6 Gbps of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E.
Next-generation technology targets network-intensive applications such as virtual and augmented reality, 4K and higher video streaming, cloud computing and gaming. With changes to the physical layer (PHY) and medium access control (MAC), Wi-Fi 7 should allow you to enjoy these applications with less latency and jitter.
Like Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 should be able to use the 6GHz band while expanding channel width support from 160MHz up to 320MHz.
Other expected benefits of Wi-Fi 7 include multi-link operation, which allows multiple frequency bands to be used simultaneously. Qualcomm also pointed out 10 Gbps enterprise access points and up to 500 users per channel.
Qualcomm announced two tri-band and two quad-band offerings for home and business use, and the company expects Wi-Fi 7 to reach homes as early as next year, Digital Trends reported. Qualcomm’s Network Pro 1620 quad-band option, which can be used in home mesh routers, claims speeds of up to 33.1 Gbps.
Although the Wi-Fi Alliance has yet to finalize the standard, Wi-Fi chipset makers MediaTek and Broadcom have also flagged 2023 as the expected Wi-Fi 7 debut date and are demonstrating Wi-Fi 7 technologies. Vijay Nagarajan, Broadcom’s VP of marketing for its wireless communications and connectivity division, said home availability is expected to occur in the second half of 2023.
“Ultimately, Broadcom’s Wi-Fi 7 will keep performance a step ahead of the broadband speeds that DOCSIS 4.0 and multi-gigabit PON technologies are bringing to the home,” Nagarajan told Ars Technica.