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MediaTek Publicizes Wi-Fi 7 Entry Level and Consumer Platforms

Mediatek was one of many first distributors to exhibit working 802.11be-compliant silicon underneath the Filogic lineup in January 2022. As a part of the bulletins at this week’s Computex, the corporate supplied extra technical particulars together with half numbers. The Filogic 880 platform will service entry factors, routers, and gateways, whereas the Filogic 380 shall be seen within the consumer gadgets.

Wi-Fi 7 / 802.11be Background

The 802.11 Working Group centered on extraordinarily excessive throughput when beginning work on 802.11be. This has been achieved primarily by way of a mix of three completely different facets:

  • Assist for as much as 16 spatial streams
  • Assist for channel widths as much as 320MHz (with operation in 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands)
  • Assist for 4096-QAM (4K-QAM) leading to higher utilization of obtainable spectrum (a quicker modulation / coding scheme).

It should be famous that wider channels can be found solely within the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. Theoretically, these facets enable for as much as round 46 Gbps of wi-fi throughput. 802.11be additionally goals to allow utilization of Wi-Fi for real-time purposes by together with options for low-latency communications comparable to Multi-link operation (MLO). This permits a consumer and an entry level to concurrently talk over a number of channels which may even belong to completely different bands.

Supply: Mediatek Wi-Fi 7 Whitepaper

802.11ax launched OFDMA to separate the channel into a number of useful resource items (RUs), permitting a number of shoppers to obtain information packets concurrently. Wi-Fi 7 brings in a A number of RU (MRU) function that permits punctured RUs (at a 20 MHz granularity). Puncturing allows interference mitigation, and in addition will increase the OFDMA effectivity.

Supply: Mediatek Wi-Fi 7 Whitepaper

The advantages of MRU are introduced out within the above image – on prime, puncturing permits enchancment in spectral effectivity, and therefore, information bandwidth. Beneath that, we see apparent latency advantages when a number of shoppers are concurrently energetic.

Interference and co-existence with non-Wi-Fi customers of the identical spectrum is dealt with utilizing computerized frequency coordination (AFC). Whereas Broadcom’s pledge of help for the Open AFC initiative, and Qualcomm offering its personal turnkey resolution for its clients, Mediatek has solely indicated that the Filogic 880 platform helps AFC, with no extra particulars.

Mediatek Filogic 880 Platform

Mediatek’s Filogic 880 platform providers the Wi-Fi 7 entry level and wi-fi router market. Just like its competitor’s choices, the platform helps all the most important Wi-Fi 7 options – 320 MHz bandwidth within the 6GHz band, 4K-QAM, Multi-link operation (MLO), Computerized Frequency Coordination (AFC), and A number of Useful resource Models.

The platform helps as much as 5 bands with unbiased RFICs that talk with the Filogic 680 Wi-Fi 7 baseband chip. Whereas conventional routers might use solely three bands, mesh techniques and premium routers could make use of the help for 2 extra bands. On the coronary heart of the reference design is a 1.8 GHz quad-core Cortex A73-based WiSoC. It additionally features a community processing unit (NPU) with hardware-accelerated QoS and tunneling offload engines. The WiSoC would not embrace an built-in swap, although. Designs are anticipated to undertake an exterior swap to translate one of many two 10Gbps USXGMII ports to both a single 10GbE, or a mixture of NBASE-T and Gigabit Ethernet ports. Varied different high-speed I/Os are additionally out there within the WiSoC.

Not like Qualcomm (whose announcement of the Wi-Fi 7 Networking Professional product suite was coated earlier this month), Mediatek is adopting an open strategy when it comes to making technical particulars of the platform out there to the general public. Broadcom additionally adopted the same strategy whereas introducing their product suite.

The Filogic 880 platform’s WiSoC is fabricated in a 6nm course of. In line with Mediatek, this delivers vital energy effectivity in comparison with its rivals (with out public data of the fabrication course of for Qualcomm’s and Broadcom’s choices and/or public availability of their platforms, this declare is troublesome to judge).

The MAC/baseband is carried out within the Filogic 680 half. Right here, Mediatek opts for an fascinating strategy The 6GHz band additionally adopts a 4T5R (quad-transmit, penta-receive) antenna configuration to spice up throughput and vary, significantly for backhauls in mesh techniques. The Filogic 680 accommodates the MAC and baseband logic for all three bands, and in addition contains MLO management. Mediatek contends that this strategy is best than the scheme of discrete MAC/PHYs for every band between the WiSoC and the basebad/RFIC, and placing the MLO logic within the WiSoC – when it comes to latency (claims of as much as 100x enchancment) in addition to board design value.

Mediatek’s reference design is a four-layer PCB, which ought to result in a decrease value for its clients. Mediatek claims that the multi-chip MAC / PHY / baseband strategy of its rivals leads to greater value resulting from extra complicated PCBs (six or eight layer PCBs). These facets needs to be readily evident to finish customers when routers / APs based mostly on platforms from completely different distributors come to the market.

Mediatek Filogic 380

On the consumer aspect, Mediatek is saying the Filogic 380 combo resolution with help for Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3. This combo single-chip resolution can be constructed on a 6nm course of. The 2×2 resolution helps speeds as much as 6.5Gbps with dual-band dual-concurrent operation. 320 Mhz bandwidth, 4K-QAM, MLO, and MRU are supported.

Mediatek additionally indicated help for an additional obtain antenna to enhance efficiency and vary for Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity by enabling MRC (a number of obtain combining). Bluetooth LE audio can be supported. The Filogic 380 additionally contains coexistence know-how to make sure that BT and Wi-Fi can each function within the 2.4GHz band with out interference. Host connectivity is both through PCIe 4.0 x1 or USB 3.0.

Mediatek is at the moment demonstrating each platforms at Computex 2022. Based mostly on Mediatek’s claims, it seems that routers and APs based mostly on the Filogic 880 ought to hit very enticing value factors with out sacrificing something when it comes to efficiency or  options. Merchandise based mostly on the brand new Filogic platforms ought to begin showing out there inside a couple of quarters.

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