Even though many mobile device users haven’t yet switched to Wi-Fi 6 on their home routers, Intel is already preparing for the launch of a next-generation standard. Called Wi-Fi 7, or 802.11be, the company wants to integrate the new wireless connectivity chips into commercial devices starting in 2024. In addition to significantly improved speeds over Wi-Fi 6E, Intel says the stability of 6 GHz connections will be much better.
Intel’s Wi-Fi 7 to debut on laptops
Already Wi-Fi 6E offers speeds well above the internet connections users have installed at home, at over 2 Gbps, but Intel has revealed that the new Wi-Fi 7 connections will even exceed 5 Gbps. Given that operators in several countries have already announced 10 Gbps connections for home customers, perhaps a new, faster wireless technology makes sense in this context.
The first devices to get Wi-Fi 7 will be laptops, and other, smaller, more power-efficient chips will be developed in the future. So it makes more sense that Intel is talking about lower latencies, and more stable connections with very high download speeds, since most large file transfers still happen on PCs.
“Wi-Fi 7 nearly doubles the bandwidth of 802.11ax (170 MHz) to 320 MHz and doubles the transfer speed over Wi-Fi. Given that 802.11be is still a year away, there’s still a chance we can improve throughput even more.”, said Eric McLaughlin, vice president of Intel’s wireless solutions division at a press conference (ET News).
After laptops, Intel sees devices that will benefit from Wi-Fi 7 improvements as areas such as high-end video games, which will get lower latency over wireless connections, as well as augmented reality or virtual reality, which will be able to stream data faster from the cloud, as well as robots of all kinds.
“We are developing Intel’s 802.11be Wi-Fi solution with the goal of receiving Wi-Fi Alliance certification and will be installed in PC products such as laptops in 2024. We expect it to appear in major market segments in 2025.”, McLaughlin added.
In addition to Intel, market rivals such as Broadcom, MediaTek and Qualcomm are also working on Wi-Fi 7 solutions.