The QCS-AX2 series from ON Semiconductor brings 6 GHz Wi-Fi 6E to routers and access points.
Just as LTE cellular is running out of capacity (hence 5G), so is Wi-Fi. Originally operating at 2.4 GHz (70 MHz band), IEEE 802.3n added 5 GHz, which supplemented with 500 MHz but at a decreased range. That’s happening again as 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) is about to add a third frequency band, morphing into Wi-Fi 6E.
The FCC is expected to open the so-called 6 GHz band (5.925 GHz to 7.125 GHz) to Wi-Fi, which will open 1.2 GHz of bandwidth. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Wi-Fi traffic has surged by some 80%, according to ABI Research. While we can expect that surge to moderate once we reach what I’ll call “the after time,” don’t be surprised if Wi-Fi traffic levels off at a higher rate than before the pandemic.
Given that Wi-Fi needed more bandwidth anyway, ON Semiconductor as announced the QCS-AX2 series. The devices integrate baseband and RF functions that support all three Wi-Fi bands with multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) and orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) capabilities. Designed for use in routers and access points, the devices are now available in sample quantities.
The QCS-AX2 series consists of three devices, all of which support 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz with different MIMO configurations.
|Part number||MIMO support|
|QCS-AX2-A12||12channels: 8×8 + 4×4 across 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands or 4×4 across three bands|
|QCS-AX2-T12||12 channels: 4×4 across three bands|
|QCS-AX2-T8||8 channels across three bands, for mesh networks|
As What you should know about Wi-Fi 6 and the 6-GHz band explains, users with Wi-Fi 6E equipment won’t be able to take full advantage of the 6 GHz band so long as a router sees 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz users. The lower bands get priority and a router will not let users in the lower two bands lose access. Hence the need for the flexible MIMO designed into the QCS-AX2 series.
- What you should know about Wi-Fi 6 and the 6-GHz band
- It’s Time to Ask Better Questions about WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and 5G
- Wi-Fi Alliance Simplifies Naming Scheme for Different Generations of WiFi Tech
- 11ax: Are we there yet?
- What’s new with Wi-Fi 6? Focus on high-efficiency
- Solving Test and Deployment Challenges for 802.11ax