Qualcomm Launches The Atheros WCN3998 – Its First Chip To Support WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1 And WPA3

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Feb 21, 2018
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Qualcomm’s being very active these days, by operating at multiple fronts. It’s increased tensions with Broadcom, after raising bid price for NXP semiconductors. Now, Qualcomm is announcing its first solution for WiFi 802.11ax – the next in industry standard. 802.11ax comes with a lot of new features, which address today’s most pressing concerns; especially as WiFi access continues to increase. Take a look below for the details.

Qualcomm Announces The Atheros WCN3998 – Its Industry First Solution To Access Latest WiFi 802.11ax Standard Which Will Become The Norm After 2019

At the start of 2018, Intel announced that its chips for routers and consumer retail devices will support Wifi 802.11ax and start to ship this year. It looked a bit preemptive at the time, especially as the Wi-Fi alliance will certify products starting 2019. This puts Intel’s hardware ahead of time, as other companies have time to catch up.

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Now, Qualcomm is at par with Intel, with the WCN3998. This isn’t the company’s first offering for the next WiFi standard. Last year, in February, Qualcomm announced the IPQ8074, a 14nm SoC for routers and access points. However, unlike the IPQ8074, the Atheros opens doors for smartphone and other device manufacturers to equip their upcoming offerings with the standard. Manufacturers will start to get access in the next few months.

The Atheros WCN3998 will double network throughput and reduce power consumption by an astounding 67% on 802.11ax. The latest WiFi standard is vastly different from the 802.11ac, as it is the first to focus completely towards network capacity. It will achieve greater bandwidth throughout the network by making Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) standard across all products. Currently, 802.11ac routers do support MU-MIMO, but the feature is optional. A second addition on 802.11ax is the ability to enhance router-device communication across multiple devices.

According to Qualcomm, the WCN3998 supports WPA3 encryption and  advanced 8×8 sounding, which builds on improvements offered by 802.11ax. The chip also supports Bluetooth 5.0, with possible enhancements in the framework. “The WCN3998 solves immediate real-world challenges and supports new applications with the right mix of advanced capabilities while helping our customers to effectively navigate the turbulent industry transition to broadly interoperable 802.11ax networks over the next two years.” said Dino Bekis, VP mobile/compute connectivity. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We’ll keep you updated on the latest. WCN

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