The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the most influential tech events in the world, and since it takes place this month, it’s a natural time to talk about the technologies that will define this new year. That’s why, for CES 2021, I sat down with ABI Research to discuss what Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) holds for wireless connectivity.
If you’d like to read through the ABI Research white paper on Wi-Fi 6, you can download it here.
As part of our new NXP Live 2021 experience, we’re hosting another special fireside chat titled, “How Wi-Fi 6 is Driving the Next Wave of Wireless Innovation.” In this video, I sit down with Andrew Zignani, ABI Research’s principal analyst for the rapidly changing wireless connectivity market.
New Wi-Fi 6 Research
For this discussion, we’ll draw on the findings of our new commissioned research with ABI, which Andrew authored. We’ll look at the current state of adoption, the challenges and opportunities ahead and the key applications that will benefit most from Wi-Fi 6. Andrew and I will also make a few bold predictions for the future of Wi-Fi 6.
I’m sure this will be a lively discussion, since Andrew and I share the view that Wi-Fi 6, with its added speed, coverage and capacity, will redefine the wireless experiences we already have, while bringing new interactions to a wide range of important applications. Here’s a bit of what you can expect to hear from us:
This Is Just the Beginning
As an emerging technology, Wi-Fi 6 has immense potential across a very broad range of categories, including automotive, entertainment, gaming and the internet of things (IoT), where new features will enhance Smart Home, Smart City and Industry 4.0. Wi-Fi 6 chipsets are already gaining momentum, with ABI Research reporting that about 400 million shipped in 2020. But we’re only just beginning to see the ramp-up. By 2025, for example, ABI Research predicts that shipment volume will be more than eight times the present level, reaching approximately 3.3 billion a year.
One reason why Wi-Fi 6 is expected to see such strong growth is consistency. Wi-Fi 6 is a step up, in terms of reliability and predictability, because it delivers more stable, more dependable network performance. Wi-Fi 6 transitions the protocol from being a “best effort” technology, without guarantees for transmission speed and quality of service (QoS), to being a technology that supports much more deterministic performance, greater reliability and greater QoS than ever before.
Looking Beyond 2021
Wi-Fi 6 offers the needed performance, across a number of metrics, to target a wide variety of device types—from high-bandwidth, low-latency video devices to low-power IoT sensors, but we’re still in the early days of adoption. There’s still much to be done to help the market scale, reduce development costs, simplify the design and shorten time-to-market, particularly with IoT applications.
At the same time, while Wi-Fi 6 begins to proliferate, the newly released spectrum for Wi-Fi 6E will help expand the options. What’s more, work has already begun on Wi-Fi 7, with 2024 as the expected availability date.
Where NXP Fits In
At NXP, we’re helping to define the Wi-Fi protocols and are building on our extensive wireless know-how to create solutions that meet the need. Our Wi-Fi 6 chipsets include a high degree of technical complexity (with support for 4x4 and 8x8 configurations) and offer the added flexibility of Bluetooth 5 integration, yet are designed for fast deployment. Our RF front-end (RFFE) solutions help ease the design effort even more. We use a single technology, Silicon Germanium (SiGe), to integrate the power amplifier, switch and LNA into a single chip-scale package, for easier integration and a shorter development cycle.
Your Chance to Participate
Those are just some of the topics you can expect us to cover in our Fireside Chat. I like the format because it’s more relaxed than a formal webinar with pre-packaged slides and because a down-to-earth exchange tends to yield truly relevant insights. The 20-minute video discussion will be followed by a live Q&A, so be sure to join the conversation.
How to Register
To register and watch the event, follow this link. And in the meantime, if you’d like to read through the ABI Research white paper on Wi-Fi 6, we’ve posted it here!