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Upcoming Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax and Wi-Fi 7 802.11be forecast for industrial IoT

The new Wi-Fi 6 standard, also known as 802.11ax, is the latest stage in the development of this technology. Based on the benefits of the 802.11ac standard, this standard also provides performance, flexibility and scalability, which in new and existing networks means an increase in speed and bandwidth for new generation applications.

Wi-Fi 6 is now coming to telephones, laptops and network equipment. But engineers are already looking at: Wi-Fi 7. With a high speed of 30 gigabits per second, the new generation of Wi-Fi will offer better video streaming, longer distances and reduced problems with data traffic.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

The Wi-Fi 6 standard enables enterprises and service providers to support new and emerging applications within the same wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure while ensuring higher standards of support for older applications. This scenario prepares the ground for new business models and increased use of Wi-Fi.

Upcoming Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 forecast for industrial IoT
Source: TP-Link

This is exactly the same standard as 802.11ax. The Wi-Fi Alliance has launched a campaign to give the IEEE 802.11ax standard the name „Wi-Fi 6”. This name suggests that this standard is a 6th generation Wi-Fi network. The justification for this idea was to simplify the marketing message of the 802.11ax standard in order to gain an image advantage over the standards of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) used in cellular network technology (e.g. 5G).

Wi-Fi 6 – 802.11ax features

The Wi-Fi 6 network will be based on the success of the 802.11 ac standard. This standard will allow access points to support more clients in dense environments and provide higher standards of use for typical wireless LANs. It will also provide more predictable utility properties for the needs of advanced applications, e.g. for 4K or 8K video playback, high density and high resolution collaboration, fully wireless offices and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Wi-Fi 6 standard will allow Wi-Fi networks to face the challenges of the future accompanying the development of wireless networks.

As with any new product in the area of Wi-Fi technology, the Wi-Fi 6 network is backward compatible with older technologies on which it is based and which makes it more efficient.

Source: TP-Link

Expectations about Wi-Fi 7 standard

During a speech during the August Wi-Fi Qualcomm Day and subsequent interviews, V.K. Jones, vice president of technology, shared details about the operation of Wi-Fi 7. He expects a three-step improvement over today’s Wi-Fi 6, called 802.11ax in the world of technology.

The first improvement expected will increase Wi-Fi 6 bandwidth and use new radio waves that will allow the governments of the United States and Europe to start wireless transmission soon next year. Secondly, the Wi-Fi 6 update in 2022 should improve speed, especially for those who transfer data such as videos from phones and computers. The third, and perhaps the most interesting, is the Wi-Fi update collection expected in 2024, known only under the technical name 802.11be.

A few years ago, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 212 processor for smart speakers. This post has nothing to do with this, but strangely enough, the company has decided to reuse the 212 number in its new Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT modem, „World’s most power-efficient single-mode 3GPP Release 14 NB2 (NB-IoT) modem„, as read.

Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT modem requires less than 1 microamp (1uA) sleep current and has a very low cutoff at system level (on the order of 2.2V) with the ability to adjust energy consumption for various source power levels It is said to support voltage.

Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem specifications:

  • MCU Core – Arm Cortex M3 @ up to 204 MHz
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • 3GPP Rel.14 LTE capabilities: Cat-NB2 with multi-carrier NPRACH and Paging, Cat-NB2 Release Assistance Indication (RAI), Cat-NB2 with larger TBS and 2 HARQ processes
    • Peak Speeds – DL: 127 kbps; UL: 158.5 kbps
    • Frequency Bands (700Mhz to 2.1 GHz for global roaming)
      • LTE low bands: B5, B68, B8, B12, B13, B14, B17, B18, B19, B20, B26, B28, B71, B85
      • LTE mid bands: B1, B65, B70, B2, B25, B66, B3, B4
    • Global Emergency Services Support – ECID, OTDOA (LTE-based positioning)
  • Network Protocols – IPv4/IPv6 stack with TCP and UDP, TLS, HTTPS, PPP, SSL, DTSL, FTP, ping, HTTTP, MQTT, OMA Lightweight M2M, CoAP
  • I/O Interfaces – 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 3x UART, up to 26 GPIOs, 4-channel ADC
  • Security – Hardware-based Crypto Engine, Secure Key provisioning, Secure Boot
  • Integrated Chipsets
    • Qualcomm 9205 baseband IC
    • SMB231 charger IC
    • PME9205 power management IC
    • SDR105 radio transceiver and front-end IC
    • WCD9306 audio codec IC
  • Supply Voltage – 2.2V to 4.5V
  • Temperature Range – -40 to 85°C
  • Package – < 10x10mm

Source: https://www.qualcomm.com/products/qualcomm-212-lte-modem

Industrial use of LTE modems

With Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series. ModBerry supports wide range of industrial grade extension cards, i.e. wireless modems with 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth and many more.

 ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+
ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+

Higher performance of ModBerry 500/9500 with extended eMMC flash memory, up to 32GB , powered by quad-core Cortex A53 processor allows the device to smoothly run Windows 10 IoT Core system, opening up many possibilities for data management, remote control and visualisation.