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Wi-Fi 6

The Wi-Fi 6 standard was upgraded with Release 2

A new release includes new optional features that Wi-Fi 6 device developers can use, such as multi-user uploads and increased power efficiency. This year has seen the launch of the latest and fastest Wi-Fi standard, 802.111ax, which was released at the beginning of 2019. 

Three years later, that standard is being upgraded to provide more robust uploads and better power efficiency, which are critical for battery-powered Wi-Fi devices, especially in IoT applications.

Known as Wi-Fi 6 Release 2, the new release builds on the foundation laid by Wi-Fi 6 by adding new features for developers to utilize. You can expect all of these new features to be included in new Wi-Fi devices later in the year, including devices that support 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands.

Some devices that are already available on the market might also be able to use these features, according to Wi-Fi Sopkersperson, the organization that announced the release.

According to Kevin Robinson, Wi-Fi senior vice-president of marketing, “in those cases, we would expect them to go through the testing to make sure those features work.” However, in other cases, devices might be able to implement Release 2 features simply by updating their firmware. Devices that do not currently have any of these features could add them in the future. However, vendor-specific details may vary.”

Among the key improvements in the new release is an increase in upload traffic, an issue that has steadily risen over the past few years alongside a larger surge in residential and commercial use of the internet.

As Robinson explains, “we’re seeing a significant shift in the traffic between the uplinks and the downlinks.” “Years ago, you could download ten bits of data for every one bit you uploaded or sent over your broadband connection. Now, the ratio is closer to six to one, and providers anticipate that eventually we’ll reach two to one.”

The new release of WiFi 6 aims to meet those growing demands for robust uploads with uplink MU-MIMO, which allows devices associated with your network to concurrently upload data on multiple streams.

According to Robinson, this extends the downlink MU-MIMO that’s already included in Wi-Fi 6, and will help upcoming Wi-Fi devices cope with the pandemic-borne surge in home network traffic, especially as people continue working and socializing online.

Wi-Fi 6 Release 2 introduces a number of efficiency enhancements over Wi-Fi 6 Release 1, including a broadcast target wake time, extended sleep time, and power saving features for multi-user spatial multiplexing.

These features are designed to help battery-powered devices conserve power when they connect to an access point. The makers of smart home sensors, cameras, and other wireless gadgets may benefit from a longer battery life.

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