The Wi-Fi Alliance is expanding Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac to include new features that provide a higher-performance mobility experience.
New "wave 2" features enable Wi-Fi to more efficiently handle high-bandwidth applications from smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other consumer electronics devices simultaneously connected to Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac delivers greater network capacity and multi-gigabit speeds.
Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) is among the most anticipated new features of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac, allowing more devices to operate simultaneously on the same network without sacrificing speed or performance. In addition to increased network capacity enabled with MU-MIMO, devices supporting the full set of new features are capable of achieving up to three times the speed of devices supporting only original Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac features. The newly introduced features are:
- MU-MIMO: Networks with MU-MIMO are capable of multitasking by sending data to multiple devices at once rather than one-at-a-time, improving overall network efficiency and throughput
- 160 MHz channels: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac increases the maximum channel bandwidth from 80 MHz channels to 160 MHz channels, potentially doubling transmission speeds
- Four spatial streams: Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac now includes support for four spatial streams, up from three spatial streams.
- Extended 5 GHz channel support: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac encourages device support for a greater number of available channels in 5 GHz.
- Support for additional channels makes more efficient use of available spectrum and reduces interference and congestion by minimizing the number of networks operating on overlapping channels.
The first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products to support new features and which comprise the test bed for interoperability certification are:
- Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC
- Marvell Avastar A88W8964
- MediaTek MT7615 AP Reference Design and MT6632 STA Reference Design
- Qualcomm IPQ8065 802.11ac 4-stream Dual-band, Dual-concurrent Router
- Quantenna QSR1000 4x4 802.11ac Wave 2 Chipset Family