For many years Wi-Fi has been heavily leveraged as a communication technology. We have all grown to see it when we move around our world – linking to it in our homes, businesses, in our local mall, hospitals, coffee shops, and the list goes on. We expect and know it will just work and that we can easily access it with our latest mobile devices. But, as with all other technologies, Wi-Fi is advancing. The Wi-Fi Alliance and manufacturers are pushing it into higher frequency realms, faster upload and download speeds, and smaller form-factors. This is why Wi-Fi is showing up in many more applications than ever before.
Benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E
Since the inception of the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard in 1997, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) has released 20 different 802.11 specifications as of the date of this blog post. In 2018, to simplify how these specifications deliver capabilities and benefits, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced a generational naming scheme, beginning with Wi-Fi 4 for 802.11n to Wi-Fi 7 for 802.11be (in development). The latest production generation is Wi-Fi 6, which includes the introduction of the recently approved 6 GHz spectrum (referred to as Wi-Fi 6E). As shown in Figure 1, Wi-Fi 6, 6E and 7 enables new frequency bands in the 6 and up to the 7 GHz realm.