By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Momentum is building fast for the next leap forward in Wi-Fi connectivity: Today, leading Wi-Fi test equipment vendor LitePoint launched the world’s first test system for 6 GHz Wi-Fi. The early availability of 6 GHz test systems will allow Wi-Fi vendors all over the world to speed up 6 GHz Wi-Fi time-to-market.
The new test system will allow all developers of 6 GHz Wi-Fi solutions – including chipset vendors, router and AP OEMs, as well as Wi-Fi component suppliers – to begin testing new 6 GHz products immediately. LitePoint says the system is already shipping in volumes.
“We are working closely with leading chipset manufacturers to provide a high performance, cost-effective test platform with seamless transition from the lab to production,” says Eve Danel, Product Marketing Manager at LitePoint responsible for the new 6 GHz test system called IQxel-MW 7G.
Five billion devices tested
LitePoint’s 6 GHz Wi-Fi test systems are widely expected to be incorporated into production processes at Wi-Fi technology manufacturing facilities across the globe as well as for lab testing of new 6 GHz Wi-Fi products, the company says. The system already supports testing of Wi-Fi 6, legacy Wi-Fi, and more than 30 other wireless standards.
LitePoint says it has tested more than 5 billion wireless devices for hundreds of customers including a long list of household-name Wi-Fi equipment providers.
More momentum for 6 GHz Wi-Fi
The availability of LitePoints 6 GHz testing system is the latest in a long list of positive developments aimed at making 6 GHz Wi-Fi equipment available on the markets in record time. Since the FCC voted in favour of 6 GHz Wi-Fi late last year, Europe has followed suit and may even be ahead in the race to release the new 6 GHz spectrum. Most regulatory experts expect 6 GHz spectrum to be released to Wi-Fi (and other unlicensed uses) some time next year.
Meanwhile, chipset vendors are already working hard towards securing their first 6 GHz Wi-Fi product releases. Intel delivered an industry-first (as far as we know) demonstration of 6 GHz Wi-Fi at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February of this year and the remaining four of the ‘big five’ Wi-Fi chipset vendors – ON Semiconductor, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Marvell (today NXP) – are expected to be roughly at the same stage of development.
At Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 6 launch event last month it also became abundantly clear how vast the new 6 GHz band is compared to for example the 2.4 GHz band – three times the size, in fact. For more on this perspective, read our coverage here.