Qualcomm unveils Wi-Fi 6E portfolio to take advantage of 6 GHz

Qualcomm Technologies introduced a portfolio of mobile connectivity systems that it’s calling the most advanced Wi-Fi 6E offering of its kind.

The Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 and Qualcomm FastConnect 6700 systems feature Wi-Fi speeds up to 3.6 Gbps, VR-class low latency and Bluetooth advancements. They’re also designed to take advantage of the 6 GHz band, where the FCC recently approved 1,200 megahertz for unlicensed use.

The 6 GHz band is tied to the latest generation of the Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 6. The Wi-Fi Alliance created the Wi-Fi 6E moniker to designate devices that are based on the Wi-Fi 6 standard that will “extend,” or operate, in the 6 GHz band. Qualcomm was one of the advocates for opening up the 6 GHz band as part of a consortium of tech companies that included Apple, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Google and more.

“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,” said Dino Bekis, vice president and general manager, mobile and compute connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, in a statement. “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.”

Qualcomm Wi-Fi
Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm points to a couple features that are driving the promised performance:  

  • Qualcomm 4K QAM (2.4, 5, 6 GHz) – an “industry first” implementation of this advanced modulation technique can extend the maximum QAM rate, across any supported band, from 1K to 4K for enhanced gaming and ultra HD streaming.
  • 160 MHz channels support in both 5 and 6 GHz bands, dramatically expanding throughput while reducing congestion.

FastConnect 6900 delivers an extra boost of performance through additional unique feature implementation of 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) with multi-band (including 6 GHz) capabilities, according to the company.

RELATED: Qualcomm shows it’s ready to support Wi-Fi at 6 GHz

The FastConnect 6900 and 6700 solutions are now sampling and will ship in production during the second half of 2020.

RELATED: Wi-Fi Alliance gears up for 6 GHz opportunity with introduction of Wi-Fi 6E

IDC has said it expects initial Wi-Fi 6E products to enter the market this year, with the first Wi-Fi 6E access points available by the fourth quarter of 2020. In 2021, Wi-Fi 6E will gain traction with the adoption of chipsets that target flagship smartphones, PCs, TVs and VR devices, according to IDC.