Wi-Fi Certified 7 Is Here. A Wave of Qualified Products Follow Suit
The Wi-Fi Alliance has officially launched the Wi-Fi Certified 7 program. Here are three new products that have already been stamped with the logo.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced the Wi-Fi Certified 7 program on January 8, 2024, opening the path for Wi-Fi vendors to promote verified compliance with the new Wi-Fi 7 standard. Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) delivers faster, more reliable wireless internet.
Wi-Fi Certified 7 product logo. Image used courtesy of Wi-Fi Alliance
It is backward compatible and supports simultaneous communications in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands. More efficient encoding and larger compressed data rates increase throughput for the same frequency band. At 6 GHz, it uses a 320-MHz channel for double the throughput. It also ups the transmission rate by jumping to 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) data encoding at 6 GHz and utilizes a more efficient 512-bit compressed block ACK.
Wi-Fi Certified 7 Program
The Wi-Fi Certified 7 program will help developers and consumers ensure compatibility and device interoperability. Wi-Fi 7 requires leading-edge technology, and the Certified 7 program uses alliance partner testbed equipment to verify that Wi-Fi 7 products meet the stringent requirements.
Wi-Fi 7 features and benefits. Image used courtesy of Wi-Fi Alliance
Some Wi-Fi device manufacturers have historically released products for the newest standards before all of the aspects of the standard were fully finalized. This led to marginally compatible or quickly obsoleted products for early adopters. Wi-Fi Certified 7 will mitigate that risk for consumers. Any product with the logo is guaranteed to be fully compatible with all other devices with the logo.
MediaTek Unveils Wi-Fi Certified 7 Filogic Chipsets
MediaTek has announced the first of many Wi-Fi Certified 7 products planned for its portfolio. The MediaTek Filogic chipsets will be used to create always-on experiences for various products in the wireless connectivity market, including gateways, routers and mesh routers, phones, computers, and other streaming devices. As an early developer with the Wi-Fi 7 Alliance, MediaTek is part of the testbed for the certification program.
MediaTek’s first chipsets, the Filogic 880, 860, 380, and 360 chipsets, have been chosen by several manufacturers, including SUS, Buffalo, Hisense Visional Technology, Lenovo, Lumen, TCL, and TP-Link. These companies have Wi-Fi 7 products slated for release in 2024 and 2025—all of which will be eligible for the Wi-Fi Certified 7 label.
The flagship Filogic 880 is powered by an Arm Cortex-A73 64-bit quad-core CPU running at up to 1.8 GHz.
MaxLinear First To Be Certified for Tri-Band Chips and Access Point
MaxLinear also announced Wi-Fi Certified 7 status for its tri-band chips and access point. MaxLinear claims these products are the first of their kind to be certified and have been selected by the Wi-Fi Alliance as part of the test bed for Wi-Fi Certified 7 devices.
MaxLinear's two single-chip, tri-band solutions. Image used courtesy of MaxLinear
The company's single-chip SoC product family, the MxL31712 and MxL31708, support seamless use of the three Wi-Fi 7 frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz). The two chips also offer improved power consumption along with its Wi-Fi 7 performance.
MaxLinear showcased the low-power chips in its XGSPON Home Gateway platform, which draws less than 5.7 W when idling and 7.4 W to 9 W when operating under typical conditions.
Quectel Releases Wi-Fi 7 Wireless Modules
Quectel's FGE576Q and FGE573Q modules deliver Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 in a 16.0 mm × 20.0 mm × 1.8 mm form factor. The FGE576Q delivers a data rate of up to 3.6 Gbps and is optimized for low-latency, real-time devices. FGE573Q provides up to 2.9 Gbps data transmission. The devices offer simultaneous dual-band operation, pairing 2.4 GHz with 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz with 6 GHz.
The Quectel Wi-Fi 7 module. Image used courtesy of Quectel
Along with Wi-Fi 7, both modules support Bluetooth low energy (BLE), LE audio, and long-range BLE. Both support multi-link operation (MLO) to utilize multiple wireless bands and channels concurrently.
Look for the Label
While Wi-Fi 7 provides faster transmission, it offers more than just data speed. It also takes a large step forward in terms of transmission quality and reliability. It supports deterministic latency, or the ability to know the exact latency ahead of time, which is essential for mission-critical, real-time, and highly collaborative applications.
Wi-Fi 7 will also support frequency interoperability and more simultaneous device connections through Multi-Link Operation (MLO). MLO allows several frequencies to be combined into a single connection, so more devices can be connected at the same time. This helps many IoT devices, such as a family’s multimedia, gaming, computing, and communications devices, keep better connections with each other.
Wi-Fi 7 consumer products will be released starting in early 2024 and will increase in availability throughout the year. Purchasing products with the Wi-Fi Certified 7 logo will ensure full compatibility until the next Wi-Fi upgrade.