Qualcomm unveils 6 GHz Wi-Fi platforms and Bluetooth features

A bevy of new platforms take advantage of the new spectrum and deliver multi-gigabit speeds, high bandwidth, and a surge in low latency network capacity, the company says.

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In an announcement on Thursday, Qualcomm unveiled a series of platforms and features designed to take advantage of the newly opened 6 GHz spectrum. With millions still working and schooling from home, networks around the world have been pushed to their limit, prompting the need for tools that can leverage the newly opened 6 GHz spectrum.
 
On an information call, Qualcomm's vice president of wireless infrastructure and networking, Nick Kucharewski, said the company was debuting four Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platforms supporting Wi-Fi 6E, extending its Wi-Fi 6 feature set into the 6 GHz band. The four platforms are designed "to deliver multi-gigabit speeds, high bandwidth and a surge in low latency network capacity," he said.
 
"Leveraging decades of focused research and development, our second-generation Wi-Fi 6 platforms set a new performance benchmark for home and enterprise networking applications," Kucharewski said. "With Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 and scaling to 16 streams, Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platforms pair wireless expertise with robust architecture designed to deliver Gigabit speeds, massive capacity, and stable-as-wire reliability our customers depend on."
 
SEE: Wi-Fi 6: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium)

In addition to the Networking Pro announcement, Qualcomm's vice president of mobile and compute, Dino Bekis, said the company was launching the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 and Qualcomm FastConnect 6700 mobile connectivity systems, which he called "a flagship portfolio of mobile connectivity systems that represent the most advanced Wi-Fi 6E offerings of their kind."

Bekis explained that the mobile connectivity systems feature Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps, VR-class low latency, and a variety of Bluetooth advancements.

"With the introduction of the FastConnect 6900 and 6700 solutions, Qualcomm Technologies is redefining the mobile experience by extending the power of Wi-Fi 6 into the 6 GHz band and advancing wireless audio with cutting-edge integrated Bluetooth 5.2 features," Bekis said. "These innovations enable us to further break away from the pack and deliver a connectivity portfolio optimized to accelerate global adoption across multiple smartphone tiers."

FastConnect 6900 offers Wi-Fi 6 speed of up to 3.6 Gbps and the FastConnect 6700 delivers peak speeds approaching 3 Gbps, according to Bekis. He also said that both FastConnect 6900 and 6700 have integrated Bluetooth 5.2 "for greatly improved wireless experiences."

"As consumer expectations for always-on, flawless streaming video and crystal-clear audio continue to grow dramatically worldwide, modern applications and devices face increasing challenges with respect to battery life, data rates, range and security," said Bryan Chang, general manager of the ASUS Phone business unit.

Four New Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platforms

Kucharewski said the Qualcomm Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 was innovative because it offered simultaneous operation in 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz frequency bands while the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platforms were one of the first to offer support for nearly 2,000 simultaneous users.
 
The Qualcomm Max User Architecture gives enterprises the ability to manage and maintain connectivity for up to 2,000 clients simultaneously and the Qualcomm Multi-User Traffic Management provides advanced scheduling algorithms and buffering with universal uplink data support. 
 
The Qualcomm 4K QAM technology is designed to deliver 20% higher throughput compared to standard Wi-Fi 6E, and the Qualcomm Wi-Fi Security Suite offers a comprehensive WPA3 implementation coupled with state-of-the-art embedded crypto accelerators designed to provide secure transactions across a full range of Wi-Fi data touchpoints.
 
Kucharewski noted that the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series included four, tiered platforms that provide organizations with flexibility through a unified platform architecture, with each platform leveraging Qualcomm Technologies' Wi-Fi 6 and 6E feature implementation.
 
The four platforms include the Qualcomm Networking Pro 1610, which supports up to 16 streams of Wi-Fi 6/E connectivity and comes with a 2.2 GHz Quad-core A53 processor, 8x8 support for huge multi-user gain, and 10.8 Gbps peak speed. The other three come with similar features but less capacity and slower speeds.
 
Manufacturers, Kucharewski added, could create a variety of products using the new platforms that ranged from home Wi-Fi mesh systems to enterprise access points targeting business, large-venue, and campus networks.
 
"Aruba's enterprise customers demand high-performance, reliable and secure Wi-Fi connectivity solutions that can be scaled to deliver extreme density and capacity. Through our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, we've utilized their advanced Wi-Fi technology to continuously evolve the seamless, connected experiences that our customers demand," said Onno Harms, senior director of product management for WLAN Platforms at Aruba. 
 
"The newly opened 6 GHz spectrum and the advent of Wi-Fi 6E are important industry milestones that promise to usher in a new wave of Wi-Fi innovation that will bring exceptional wireless experiences to life."

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Image: Qualcomm