Simply put, what 5G cellular does for wide-area access, Wi-FI 6 does for local
access. Each Wi-Fi 6 access point reaches farther and covers a greater area,
and can support many more devices at once. Wi-Fi 6 also delivers a dramatic
boost in speed, plus a 50% improvement in battery life, a 4x increase in
network capacity, and a 2x increase in bandwidth over previous generations of
Wi-Fi. When it comes to Industry 4.0 use cases, there are four Wi-Fi 6
features that are particularly relevant:
In part 1, Peter Raggam talks about how wireless connections enhance industrial
TWT for Low-Power IoT Sensors and Longer Battery Life with TWT
A power-efficient scheduling scheme, called Target Wake Time (TWT), lets a
Wi-FI 6 access oint schedule the wake time for each client, based on
individual device requirements and expected traffic activity. That helps
extend battery life in a variety of IoT sensors, and enables more flexible
placement of condition-monitoring devices. The result is more reliable
inputs, the ability to connect previously unconnected machinery, and better
energy management in power-sensitive applications.
- Low Latency for Improved AR
AR applications, headsets, and smart glasses enable a variety of new ways to
get information and interact with data. Developers can explore 3D designs
before they’re built, maintenance crews have hands-free access to more
advanced diagnostics and repair instructions, warehouse workers can locate
items faster, and training sessions can provide real-world experience while
keeping people safe. Wi-Fi 6 delivers the necessary latency, as well as the
robustness and reliability, needed to supply AR use cases with video, voice,
and real-time data visualizations.
- OFDMA for Network Efficiency and Determinism
Wi-Fi 6 provides network access using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple
Access (OFDMA), which lets multiple users, with varying bandwidth needs, use
the channel simultaneously. OFDMA means Wi-FI 6 supports more deterministic
industrial networking performance than ever before, ensuring much higher
Quality of Service (QoS) than with previous Wi-FI standards. More efficient
resource management also leads to more reliable performance at all times,
particularly as more devices are connected, so every device, be it a tiny
sensor or a fully automated robot, benefits from faster, more efficient
- Beamforming for Higher Network Capacity
Wi-Fi 6 uses a transmission technique, called beamforming, to create a
faster, more reliable connection. Transmit beamforming enables higher data
rates at a given range, making it possible to accommodate more devices on
the network at once. Transmit beamforming is already part of Wi-Fi, but
Wi-FI 6 increases the number of beamforming streams from four to eight, and
as a result substantially increases network range, throughput, and capacity.
An industrial deployment can expand to accommodate more devices while
maintaining reliable connectivity.
A Valuable Upgrade
As in the home and the enterprise, industrial environments need to expand
their support for traditional Wi-Fi applications, especially internet access
for mobile and computing devices. Across the board, more people are using more
devices to access more data, and industrial applications need to address this.
The added capacity and bandwidth of Wi-FI 6 makes it a compelling upgrade on
these grounds alone.
At the same time, though, Wi-FI 6 can bring the added benefit of enabling
Industry 4.0 use cases that need a robust, reliable, secure, and flexible
Wi-Fi infrastructure. That includes things like production lines that are more
automated and flexible, Real-Time Location Services (RTLS), condition
monitoring, robotics, wearables, AR, and safety applications.
Ultimately, Wi-Fi 6 and the opening of the 6-GHz band for Wi-Fi 6E presents an
enormous opportunity for Wi-Fi to provide low-latency, high-performance indoor
connectivity in dense industrial environments. Combine this with lower
infrastructure costs, as well as near universal coverage, and Wi-Fi 6 becomes
an even more compelling option Industry 4.0 use cases. What’s more, Wi-Fi 6 is
a cost-effective complement and support technology for services running over
5G, so industrial applications can extend in-place 5G services by adding Wi-Fi
6 for indoor operation.
Optimizing for Industry 4.0
At NXP, our engineering teams are optimizing Wi-FI 6 to ensure robust,
high-QoS, industrial-grade network performance for a variety of
mission-critical applications. We offer high-performance solutions alongside
out IoT chipsets, to provide connectivity on both the access and client side.
We’ve also optimized Wi-Fi 6 for battery-powered operation, with solutions
that enable a more than 50% reduction in standby power compared to previous
generations of Wi-Fi. We increase flexibility by adding Bluetooth 5.1
functionality to Wi-Fi 6 operation. Careful integration saves on power here,
too, since the onboard Bluetooth radios use ultra-low-power communication for
Connect with NXP to Discover The Possibilities
NXP offers one of the broadest wireless portfolios in the industry, and our
early success with Wi-Fi 6 shows just how committed we are to creating a
connected world that anticipates and automates.
To learn more about our Wi-Fi 6 solutions,