It’s hard to talk Qualcomm and not mention 5G, but the company is still very much focused on all of the other wireless standards it supports, including Wi-Fi 6. While Wi-Fi 6 has been around for a couple of years, its adoption thus far has been pretty modest. Things are improving as they usually do, but to give adoption an extra jolt, Qualcomm has just announced a fleet of new SKUs for both routers and mobile phones.
Four products make up the router-targeted Networking Pro line, with each model featuring largely the same feature set, but offering a different level of capabilities. The top-end Networking Pro 1200 handles 12 spatial streams and has a peak speed of 6.0 Gbps – two values that scale pretty naturally down the stack. The bottom Networking Pro 400 model lacks Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi SON – the “Self-Organizing Network” mesh networking feature that continually optimizes many factors to ease slowdown from busy traffic.
All of the Networking Pro models sport four Cortex A53 cores clocked at different speeds, with rather big differences seen between the top and bottom of the stack – again roughly scaling according to each part’s networking capabilities. Other features remain identical, including the Wi-Fi protocol support.
On the mobile side, Qualcomm has rebranded its Wi-Fi component to FastConnect, with both the 6800 and 6200 series introduced. According to Qualcomm, the 855, 855+, and 8cx, include the 6200 already. Android Authority asked the company about why Wi-Fi 6 wasn’t being touted on devices with those chips, and a hint about certifications was made. It doesn’t seem like these supported devices (including the OnePlus 7 Pro) are held back versus a true FastConnect 6200-branded product.
The future top dog FastConnect 6800 will bring 802.11ax to our high-end smartphones devices, offering perks like MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and a range of Qualcomm-specific mobile technologies, including audio-enhancers TrueWireless and aptX. As with the Networking Pro series, the bottom FastConnect model holds some things back, but its 802.11ac wireless should still do well to satiate the need of bandwidth for most users for now.
With Qualcomm set to hold its fourth annual Snapdragon Tech Summit later this year, we’d imagine that we may hear a lot more there about the FastConnect 6800 hitting some smartphones in the new year.