At CES 2020, American wireless semiconductor giant Broadcom has proposed a new standard Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi 6E related solutions. Just over a month later, Broadcom released a Wi-Fi 6E chipset for smartphone platforms with the model number “BCM4389”.

Before discussing the Wi-Fi 6E chip, let’s review the concept of Wi-Fi 6. We know that Wi-Fi 6 is the latest Wi-Fi standard introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2019 and is also known as “802.11ax.”

Compared with Wi-Fi 5 in the past, the new Wi-Fi 6 upgrades the modulation mode to 1024-QAM, which doubles the data flow of Wi-Fi 5, and the theoretical speed is also from Wi-Fi 5 3.5Gbps increased to 9.6Gbps.

In terms of channel control, Wi-Fi 6 also has obvious improvements over Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 uses OFDMA “Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access Technology”, which allows different users to share a channel, and the channel utilization is more sufficient than Wi-Fi 5. The latency for multi-device access will also be shorter.

In theory, Wi-Fi 6 seems to solve the channel congestion caused by multi-device access, but now smart Devices have begun to be miniaturized, and more and more smart appliances need to access Wi-Fi.

Although the OFDMA technology of Wi-Fi 6 can improve the channel utilization, it cannot support the equipment to grow too fast. Looking at the phone settings, you can find dozens of Wi-Fi signal sources, and a large number of signal sources and devices share 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels. Signal interference between different devices will seriously affect the response speed and transmission experience of Wi-Fi 6.

So the Wi-Fi Alliance wants to add a new frequency band. This is the origin of Wi-Fi 6E. Wi-Fi 6E adds support for the 6GHz band in addition to 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and divides the 6GHz band into 7 160MHz channels. With a 160MHz band that has not been opened at 5GHz, a total of 8 channels are added.

This is like building a highway. If the traffic is crowded and there is no way to slow down with better traffic lights, we will open up new ones. The lane is changed from opposite 4 lanes to opposite 12 lanes. The Wi-Fi Alliance ’s approach is similar.

The new 6 GHz band will greatly alleviate network congestion caused by multiple device access. But it wants to be applied in more regions, and it still faces the problem of government spectrum allocation. At present, the FCC “Federal Communications Commission” has not opened the 6GHz band for Wi-Fi transmission.

As early as October 2018, the U.S. federalThe Communications Commission has proposed 6 GHz spectrum resources for Wi-Fi and other “unlicensed” uses. As of January 2020, this measure has not yet been implemented. However, the FCC chairman has stated that “the FCC intends to provide this spectrum for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed services.”

This release is an early release of Wi-Fi 6E devices, and it is also intended to prepare for the popularization of the standard. The BCM4389 chip not only supports the 6GHz band, but also supports the simultaneous operation of the 2.4, 5, and 6GHz three bands. Compared with the first-generation Wi-Fi 6 chip “BCM4375”, it has higher data throughput and performance.

This generation of BCM4389 chip also supports Bluetooth 5 signal MIMO. Broadcom claims to reduce Bluetooth pairing time by two, Surprisingly, Bluetooth MIMO and beamforming work together, and traditional Bluetooth devices can benefit from it.

It is worth mentioning that the BCM4389 chip uses a 16nm process, which is nearly two generations higher than the 28nm process of the previous generation. If TBS is turned on, the power consumption can be reduced by 80%.

At present, the chip has just been launched. Since it is also licensed by the FCC, it does not support Wi-Fi on the router side. The 6E routing chip appears. We may have to wait a while before we see the emergence of Wi-Fi 6E enabled phones.

Friends who have just bought a Wi-Fi 6 device don’t have to worry, it has not been approved by the domestic radio management department Under the circumstances, even if the corresponding equipment is available, it cannot be used in China.