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Wi-Fi news from Qualcomm

Microsoft Windows 11 native support for Wi-Fi Dual Station, coupled with Qualcomm FastConnect 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous and broad industry support, enables Gaming and PC OEMs to effortlessly deliver ethernet-like reliability and latency.

Ecosystem support from Acer, AMD, Lenovo, Microsoft, Snapdragon Compute Platforms and Valve

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., together with ecosystem leaders spanning key platforms and OEMs, is set to redefine wireless expectations for latency-sensitive gaming, productivity and learning applications on Window’s 11 PCs with Qualcomm® FastConnect™ systems. Wi-Fi Dual Station designed using Qualcomm® 4-Stream Dual Band Simultaneous, harnesses multiple Wi-Fi bands and antennas concurrently, to outperform traditional single band connections.  By simultaneously utilizing the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band (or 6 GHz where available), latency issues in one band can be easily resolved at a system-level both quickly and transparently to the end user.

Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous

“Microsoft is pleased to bring ‘Wi-Fi Dual Station’ to the Windows 11 ecosystem, enabling our Windows OEMs and ecosystem leaders to deliver low-latency performance on the latest Wi-Fi hardware. Games and other latency-sensitive applications can now leverage two concurrent Wi-Fi connections providing best-in-class user experiences,” said Ian LeGrow, vice president, program management for windows platforms and services, Microsoft.

“More so now than ever before, high-performance, robust and low-latency wireless connectivity is the critical factor in delivering compelling, engaging and immersive experiences,” said Dino Bekis, vice president and general manager, mobile and compute connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “This unique collaboration with Microsoft was essential in realizing the promise of Windows 11 with Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Wi-Fi 6E 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous devices.   Through focused collaboration, we address today’s unprecedented wireless challenges and dramatically extend these premium capabilities to the entire ecosystem.”

Valve has added initial support for Wi-Fi Dual Station to the Steamworks SDK to deliver low latency and jitter-free online play for the millions playing games that utilize the Steamworks SDK for networking. This includes Valve’s popular online titles Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), which will now benefit from the improved and sustained responsiveness when played on a Windows 11 gaming device with supporting FastConnect connectivity systems.

Even occasional high latency (jitter) events significantly deteriorate online game play which has historically caused PC gamers to stay tethered to Ethernet. Wi-Fi Dual Station with Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous addresses the need for sustained low latency over extended periods of time, unleashing gaming experiences with wire-class responsiveness.

“We’re seeing considerable reductions in jitter and packet loss with Wi-Fi Dual Station enabled, especially when the AP is heavily loaded,” said Fletcher Dunn at Valve. “This is important for any online title, and especially beneficial for competitive online titles such as CS:GO and Dota 2. Games using the Steamworks SDK for networking will experience these same benefits with no added development time.”

In testing conducted by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. with off-the-shelf retail Wi-Fi 6 Access Points, Wi-Fi Dual Station with Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous consistently delivered sustained jitter free wireless gameplay similar to Ethernet latency under the same conditions. Further, in head-to-head wireless comparisons with Single Station Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Dual Station yielded 4x lower latency and sustained jitter-free gameplay, underscoring the immediate value to online gamers.

Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous 2-in-1 performance

“Acer’s new gaming notebooks that feature FastConnect 6900 connectivity will provide ethernet-grade Wi-Fi,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “With responsiveness offered by the Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous, gamers will be able to enjoy a low-latency gaming experience without the wires.”

Beyond gaming, these technology advancements and capabilities provide material improvements for the ever-increasing demands of the enterprise PC industry. The combination of superior Wi-Fi 6 feature implementation (such as Wi-Fi Dual Station) and the extension of those capabilities to new 6 GHz spectrum (Wi-Fi 6E), are at the heart of addressing the exponentially growing demand for intense two-way data traffic (video calls, collaboration tools, remote management) and ensuring sustained productivity whether in a centralized office or decentralized remote work environment.

“We are excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies to deliver best-in-class connectivity solutions on AMD enterprise platforms,” said Jason Banta, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Client OEM, AMD. “Leadership connectivity performance is critical, and together, FastConnect, Microsoft Windows and AMD raise the bar for speed, capacity and latency performance to bring exceptional hybrid-work experiences to a demanding workforce.”

“Working, learning, collaborating have all become distributed beyond what we could have imagined even two years ago, and connectivity must rise to the occasion to deliver the speed, capacity and reliable low latency needed to handle modern computing applications and environments. Wi-Fi Dual Station with Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous, together with 6 GHz operation (Wi-Fi 6E) have enormous potential, and we applaud all involved in bringing these advanced wireless technologies to fruition.  Lenovo is committed to delivering game-changing technology solutions and we look forward to harnessing these next gen features for a better customer experience in the future.” Luis Hernandez, vice president, PC and Smart Solutions Development, Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group.

Qualcomm FastConnect

For more information about FastConnect please visit https://www.qualcomm.com/products/wi-fi/fastconnect.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G.  When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born.  Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.

Wi-Fi 6 is built to address the challenges of today’s connectivity landscape, leveraging new or enhanced versions of technologies like OFDMA and bi-directional MU-MIMO to manage the multi-user, simultaneous usage patterns that define modern Wi-Fi networks. However, peak Wi-Fi 6 performance depends on both expert implementation of these tools and the ability to use them together. Ensuring the right tool is applied to the right requirement and optimizing the combination of capabilities at any given moment has elevated the role of the network scheduler to one of singular importance. Simply stated, performance of the Wi-Fi 6 network scheduler is the best predictor of overall Wi-Fi 6 performance in a modern network.

Recently, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. demonstrated, through technical analysis, the importance of a high-performance network scheduler and published that analysis in a new research-based whitepaper. Our decades-long pedigree, derived from intensive research and development, yields a highly optimized network scheduler delivering significant performance advantages when compared to either legacy single-user scenarios or to competitors’ offerings.

The analyses were developed to measure both throughput and latency, key performance indicators across multiple intense usage network deployments. In one use case, the analysis illustrates the impact of Qualcomm Technologies’ scheduling in delivering airtime fairness (as measured in throughput per device) in a mixed client environment with both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 devices.

Analysis conducted in Qualcomm Technologies’ labs.

Equal airtime fairness in mixed client environments is a critical factor in delivering a seamless Wi-Fi experience. Qualcomm Technologies set out to determine the impact our high-performance scheduler had on such a scenario. The results show an equal allocation of capacity, providing faster connections across all devices – Wi-Fi 6 and legacy – resulting in a significant performance boost per device. With up to 90 percent higher throughput per device, every user’s connectivity experience improved.

To further illustrate the performance of a Qualcomm Technologies’ scheduler, a second analysis was constructed with two scenarios. In these scenarios, the performance results between an access point based on the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Wi-Fi 6 platform and a competitor’s Wi-Fi 6 access point were compared. These scenarios ran latency-sensitive real-time traffic, side by side, with heavy uplink traffic across the same network.

Analysis conducted in Qualcomm Technologies’ labs.

These analyses highlight implementation superiority. They also demonstrate the significant role our highly optimized scheduler plays in the real-time balancing between OFDMA use for the benefit of multiple users with relatively small payloads or MU-MIMO for multiple users with large payloads without having to sacrifice on either throughput (with an increase of up to 75 percent where throughput is the KPI) or latency (with an overall decrease of up to 69 percent in use cases where latency is the KPI).

Overall, these analyses clearly illustrate that the full performance benefits of Wi-Fi 6 are only achieved through high-performance network scheduling. Qualcomm Technologies’ highly differentiated high-performance Wi-Fi 6 network scheduler is offered across our networking product portfolios, supporting our customers to deliver leading-edge connectivity in the home, school, public, and enterprise environments. From video conferencing and gaming to voice and beyond, unlocking the full benefits Wi-Fi 6 is transforming industries and empowering new and improved experiences for users.