Wi-Fi Alliance on Monday officially started its Wi-Fi 6 certification program, informally kicking off the widescale adoption of the new Wi-Fi standard. As with the group's previous certification programs, the Wi-Fi 6 certification program is focused on verifying the interoperability and feature sets of IEEE 802.11ax devices, ensuring that they work well with each other and that the devices feature all of the required performance and security capabilities of the new standard.

Wi-Fi Alliance's certification comes as device manufacturers have already been shipping Wi-Fi 6 products for the last several months – essentially seeding the hardware ecosystem to get to this point. So the first task for the group's members and test labs will be to certify existing Wi-Fi 6 devices. This includes existing access points, routers, and client devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, which has become the first smartphone to receive certification.

Under the hood, the new standard takes a bit of a departure from past Wi-Fi iterations by focusing more on improving performance in shared environments, as opposed to solely boosting peak device transfer rates. To that end, while the maximum throughput supported by Wi-Fi 6 is 2.4 Gbps, the crucial improvement of the Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax technology the standard's enhanced spectral efficiency. Among other things, the technology adds OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) to allow different devices to be served by one channel, by dedicating different sub-carriers for individual client devices. Wi-Fi 6 also adds mandatory support for MU-MIMO – a feature first added in 802.11ac Wave 2 – as well as transmit beamforming for better reaching individual clients.

In fact, even existing Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) client devices can benefit from a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AP, though Wi-Fi 6 Certified devices will deliver the best results.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Alliance mandates that Wi-Fi 6 certified devices support WPA3 security, 1024-QAM, 160 MHz channels, and that devices support target wake time (a battery-saving tech that minimizes device check-ins).

Finally, along with the launch of the certification program itself, the Wi-Fi Alliance has already certified its first dozen devices. The following network adapters, chipsets, and access points have all been Wi-Fi 6 certified:

  • Broadcom BCM4375
  • Broadcom BCM43698
  • Broadcom BCM43684
  • Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
  • Intel Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) + 88W9068 (8x8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
  • Qualcomm Networking Pro 1200 Platform
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
  • Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
Wi-Fi Names and Performance
Naming Peak Performance
New Name IEEE
Standard
1x1
Configuration
2x2
Configuration
3x3
Configuration
Wi-Fi 4 802.11n 150 Mbps 300 Mbps 450 Mbps
Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac 433 Mbps over 80MHz

867 Mbs over 160MHz
867 Mbps over 80MHz

1.69 Gbps over 160MHz
1.27 Gbps over 80 MHz

2.54 Gbps over 160 MHz
Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax 867 Mbs over 160MHz

depends
1.69 Gbps over 160MHz

on network
2.54 Gbps over 160 MHz

configuration

Related Reading:

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance

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  • JKJK - Saturday, October 19, 2019 - link

    I easily transfer 600-700Mbps with my Cisco 9800L WLC and Cisco 9120 AP's on a 40Mhz channel. Reply
  • mooninite - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    40Mhz channels on 2.4g and 160MHz channels on 5g are useless to report. No one has a pair of devices that will work reliably with either of those channel widths.

    - 40MHz channels require using the full 2.4g range. Devices that adhear to the wifi spec will never allow you to even turn it on because everyone will have a conflicting device nearby that prevents using 40MHz. Even if you do turn it on and violate the spec it causes interference with non-wifi devices like wireless mice. It's useless.

    - 160MHz wide channels may be easy to enable on APs, but it is still rare to have a client device (desktop or laptop, because no phones do it) that supports it. Then you have to also live in a prestine environment that doesn't conflict with other frequencies similar to the 2.4g problem and hope you can pass a DFS scan. No one in the USA can do this, or at least I have never been able to.

    Anandtech, I know you just regurgitate specs, but it would be nice if you put pressure on the manufacturers or the Wi-Fi alliance contacts you have and reject any 40/160MHz numbers as they will never be used.
    Reply
  • Wrong_again - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    This article doesn't really delve into the changes introduced by Wifi 6. There was a lot of work dedicated to preventing conflicts. BSS colouring, OFDMA per client, etc. The short of it is multiple hotspots will be able to run right next to each other at full tilt. Reply
  • tygrus - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    I assume the WiFi 6 operating as 3x3 requires 3x160 MHz channels. Do they do a fancy angular radiation pattern?
    A more likely 3x3 using 80 MHz channels has a 1.27 Gbps maximum with about half of that in real life usage. The biggest advantage of WiFi 6 is some of the processing to make better use of the MIMO. WiFi 6 has the other small improvements for larger deployments and city users (more IoT & mobile users within apartment/home).
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    3x3 is the MIMO. It's 3 spatial streams over the same frequency block. So in your case, it's still just 160MHz. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Its pretty sad the WIFI standard is outpacing actual products being released. I mean just now actual security cameras are coming out 5Ghz..but still %99 are 2.4Ghz. Reply
  • RSAUser - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Security cameras have always been lagging behind, most were analog for years, and then proprietary video codec etc. And lack of compression still nowadays. Reply
  • qap - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    well...5ghz for security cameras has limited use compared to 2.4ghz. distance from base station is limiting factor. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Its the same distance if in same spot as old one..lol Reply
  • qap - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    5Ghz radio has shorter range and is much more attenuated by walls. ie it works on a shorter distance. security cameras are usually all over the place so the range at which it can reasonably operate is a crucial factor... Reply

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