Intel just announced a new WiFi computing chipset compatible with the new 802.11ax WiFi spectrum. The California-based technology company already makes the chips in Arris routers for standards 802.11ac and 802.11ad. Demand for more efficient wireless internet routing continues to rise, and Intel remains relevant by producing top-of-the-line computing equipment to meet that need. The new chip will be based on the 802.11ax Draft 2.0 and will be Wi-Fi certified to ensure interoperability with routers from other manufacturers. Most common Wi-Fi routers will output both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies over the 802.11ac standard. Because Intel’s 802.11ax chips on the Draft 2.0 platform, they are guaranteed to be backwards compatible with existing hardware. They will also be designed “for mainstream 2x2 and 4x4 home routers and gateways for cable, xDSL, fiber and consumer retail devices,” according to Intel employee Doron Tal.
The upcoming 802.11ax standard has not yet been certified for distribution, but Intel’s new computing chip is expected to be rolling out via manufacturers as early as 2019. 802.11ax promises both far greater coverage and significantly faster speeds. According to Intel, throughput speeds should increase by up to 40% and network efficiency will be boosted four times, reducing latency and even saving battery life of connected devices. Intel has long considered the hardware and wearables tech market. With the influx of the Internet of Things like Wi-Fi-powered lights, smart speakers, cameras, wearables, and other gadgets, new 802.11ax Wi-Fi routers could justify evolution to meet the increased workload of supporting “smart” buildings.
Intel is not alone in preparing for 802.11ax Wi-Fi. Many other technology companies are making better their already existent hardware and infrastructure. Qualcomm Technology, for example, which provides chips for Netgear, Eero, and Google Wi-Fi devices, and announced last year its own 802.11ax Wi-Fi chipsets. Devices like smartphones, TVs, and laptops cannot support the faster speeds of 802.11ax, at least for now. While the prevalence of 802.11ax looms in the near distant future, most people won’t find the upgrading their own WiFi routers necessary for some time. When they do, we can be glad that Intel’s new chip will be compatible with both existing and future devices.