Wi-Fi 7 features and benefits: Enabler of AR/VR headset, wireless display, and cloud gaming

Date: 30/10/2023
Latency is a big issue in wireless AR/VR headsets and also for future wireless displays. To support seamless real-time transmission of high-bandwidth extremely interactive video and graphics across devices, very small delays due to interferences and latency of the networks should be kept extremely minimal. To give you one more example of latency affected technologies, digital twin based smart factory applications definitely need high bandwidth wireless interface. Modern smart home applications also can benefit from this. Cloud-based high-resolution 8K gaming is another important application to mention.

Although Wi-Fi 6E is good enough with much of these issues taken care, there is a requirement to further increase the bandwidth and implementing other techniques/tricks to make wireless transmission of high-definition 8K video/display as good as wired interface. Wi-Fi Alliance has nearly completed the new Wi-Fi 7 to support such needs with further enhancements. It is just a matter of officially adopting this new standards which is called IEEE802.11be.

Let's look at what is the latest in Wi-Fi 7:

Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6E, and Wi-Fi 6 all operate up to 6 gigahertz frequency band.
Wi-Fi 7 doubles the number of MU-MIMO spatial streams. Wi-Fi 7 supports 16 x 16 MU-MIMO, which means a router with 16 antennas can talk to 16 devices.
The maximum channel bandwidth is doubled from 160 MHz to 320 MHz in Wi-Fi 7.

It uses 4K QAM and High Band Simultaneous Multi-Link. High Band Simultaneous Multi-Link uses two Wi-Fi radios operating simultaneously in scenarios such as connecting AP and to another device such as a wireless headset display or others simultaneously.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon


In a congested system Wi-Fi 7 mesh system switch freely between bands making easy to switch from one band another band by using techniques called Multi-Link Operation (MLO) and OFDMA.

Wi-Fi 7 enables maximum data rate of 46 Gbps compared to 9.6 Gbps for Wi-Fi 6E.

Snapdragon


Image source: Qualcomm

Wi-Fi7 supporting semiconductor chips and networking products such as routers already available in the market from vendor's such as Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom. Presently routers and other devices supporting Wi-Fi 7 are quite expensive but the prices expected to drop next year.

Snapdragon


Image source: Broadcom


References and some more stories for your further reading:

What is Wi-Fi 7 and do you even need it?

Wi-Fi 7: What the world is waiting for

The future of Wi-Fi is here