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Wi-Fi 7 SoC from MaxLinear for gateways, Wi-Fi routers

Date: 25/10/2022
RF and analog semiconductor chip maker MaxLinear has made available Wi-Fi 7 SoC chips for designing high speed gateways and Wi-Fi routers. The single chip solution is designed to provide formfactor advantage, less time to development, in designing next-gen gateways routers and access points.

Wi-Fi 7 SoC chips offer more than 70% higher tri-band throughput compared to Wi-Fi 6. IEEE 802.11be standard based Wi-Fi 7 chips are called Extremely High Throughput (EHT) supporting data speeds of 11.5Gbps on the 6GHz spectrum by delivering higher spectrum and power efficiency and better interference mitigations. Compared to Wi-Fi 6, the new Wi-Fi 7 uses a bandwidth of 320MHz and a modulation of 4096 QAM.

The chips are currently sampling to selected partners and MaxLinear expects its chip-enabled products are expected in 2023.

“Our Wi-Fi 7 single-chip solution enables fast, robust, and reliable connectivity elevating the user experience,” said Will Torgerson, vice president and general manager, Broadband group for MaxLinear. “We help our partners reduce complexity, drive form-factor innovation, and spend less time designing next generation gateways, routers and access points.”

“The number of Wi-Fi connected devices at home and at the office is skyrocketing and will continue to do so as we move to Wi-Fi 7 and its greater capacity, speed, and reliability. Wi-Fi 7 will enable a whole new level of connectivity for smart home applications such as the metaverse, security, and 24/7 elder monitoring,” said Chris Depuy, Technology Analyst at 650 Group. “Wi-Fi 7 represents one of the biggest improvements in the technology standard to date, taking full advantage of key throughput and reliability features such as Multi-Link Operation, 320MHz in the 6 GHz band, and more.”

“Lower latency, increased reliability, and gigabit speed will be the hallmarks of Wi-Fi 7. Homes, enterprise, and consumers will surely reap the benefits of Wi-Fi 7 and from MaxLinear’s ability to maximize next-gen potential with their highly integrated solution. As a valued WBA Member, we applaud MaxLinear’s continued commitment to innovative solutions for next generation Wi-Fi,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance.

By supporting the feature of Multi-Link Operation (MLO), Wi-Fi 7 enables channel aggregation in achieving lower latency and higher throughput in congested environments.

MaxLinear Wi-Fi 7 advantages as stated in the release Maxlinear includes:

Lowers total system cost and development time: Single chip reduces total Bill of Material (BOM) and board complexity, with less time spent on thermal, mechanical, and PCB designs. Single chip also drives smaller form-factor which enables system integrators to build more elegant product designs.

Provides seamless, coordinated view of multi-bands for optimal MLO experience: Single chip has one coordinated view of data flows across multiple channels in dual- and tri-band configurations for faster recovery from retransmissions during interference. This improves link robustness and client efficiency, enables deterministic latency and higher throughput for demanding high-bandwidth applications in heavily congested environments like Multi-Dwelling Units.

Enhances network efficiency with “On-the-fly MAC”: MaxLinear’s improved proprietary “on-the-fly MAC” architecture optimizes large and small packet scheduling and performance. It reduces the overheads in the data path and enables quick recovery from data retransmissions during interference.

Reduces dead spots with dedicated chain for ZWDFS: Provides seamless operations in DFS channels while adhering to stringent DFS (re)entry rules. Delivers uncompromised 4x4 range and performance reducing dead spots while offering best-in-class user experience.

The Wi-Fi 7 Family consists of two chips: The MxL31712 and the MxL31708. The MxL31712 is targeted for premium segment 4x4 tri-band market targeting throughput up to 18.6Gbps. The MxL31708 is targeted for mid- to high-range 4x4 dual-band market targeting throughput up to 17Gbps.

Common features applicable to both chips include:

Single chip WFA Wi-Fi 7 R1 certifiable
Based on IEEE 802.11be (EHT); backward compliant to IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Support Key Wi-Fi 7 features such as:
Bandwidth up to 320MHz
4096 QAM modulation
Multi-Link Operation (MLO)
Multi Resource Unit (MRU)
Dedicated antenna for Zero Wait DFS (ZWDFS)
Enhanced Network Efficiency
Automatic Frequency Coordination (AFC) support
Fully offloaded Wi-Fi traffic
Coexistence support for PAN radios
Interface(s): PCIe Gen4

For more information and technical specifications, visit maxlinear.com/wifi7.