Wi-Fi Alliance on Monday officially started its Wi-Fi 6 certification program, informally kicking off the widescale adoption of the new Wi-Fi standard. As with the group's previous certification programs, the Wi-Fi 6 certification program is focused on verifying the interoperability and feature sets of IEEE 802.11ax devices, ensuring that they work well with each other and that the devices feature all of the required performance and security capabilities of the new standard.

Wi-Fi Alliance's certification comes as device manufacturers have already been shipping Wi-Fi 6 products for the last several months – essentially seeding the hardware ecosystem to get to this point. So the first task for the group's members and test labs will be to certify existing Wi-Fi 6 devices. This includes existing access points, routers, and client devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, which has become the first smartphone to receive certification.

Under the hood, the new standard takes a bit of a departure from past Wi-Fi iterations by focusing more on improving performance in shared environments, as opposed to solely boosting peak device transfer rates. To that end, while the maximum throughput supported by Wi-Fi 6 is 2.4 Gbps, the crucial improvement of the Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax technology the standard's enhanced spectral efficiency. Among other things, the technology adds OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) to allow different devices to be served by one channel, by dedicating different sub-carriers for individual client devices. Wi-Fi 6 also adds mandatory support for MU-MIMO – a feature first added in 802.11ac Wave 2 – as well as transmit beamforming for better reaching individual clients.

In fact, even existing Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) client devices can benefit from a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AP, though Wi-Fi 6 Certified devices will deliver the best results.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Alliance mandates that Wi-Fi 6 certified devices support WPA3 security, 1024-QAM, 160 MHz channels, and that devices support target wake time (a battery-saving tech that minimizes device check-ins).

Finally, along with the launch of the certification program itself, the Wi-Fi Alliance has already certified its first dozen devices. The following network adapters, chipsets, and access points have all been Wi-Fi 6 certified:

  • Broadcom BCM4375
  • Broadcom BCM43698
  • Broadcom BCM43684
  • Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
  • Intel Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) + 88W9068 (8x8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
  • Qualcomm Networking Pro 1200 Platform
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
  • Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
Wi-Fi Names and Performance
Naming Peak Performance
New Name IEEE
Wi-Fi 4 802.11n 150 Mbps 300 Mbps 450 Mbps
Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac 433 Mbps over 80MHz

867 Mbs over 160MHz
867 Mbps over 80MHz

1.69 Gbps over 160MHz
1.27 Gbps over 80 MHz

2.54 Gbps over 160 MHz
Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax 867 Mbs over 160MHz

1.69 Gbps over 160MHz

on network
2.54 Gbps over 160 MHz


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Source: Wi-Fi Alliance

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  • timecop1818 - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    I've never seen WiFi AP to device actual real world transfer rates faster than 150-200mbit. and that's to a laptop. phone craps out below 50mbit. And this is sitting next to a WiFi AP.

    Fuck anything wireless.
  • Makaveli - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    Wi-Fi 6 aka AX will get you much closer to those speeds than previous versions.

    Look at the post from Adamm
    numbers for WiFi 5 AC with 160mhz channel
    And for an Intel AX200 WiFi 6 adapter.

  • cmdrdredd - Monday, September 16, 2019 - link

    Yep, only do WiFi when there is no choice (phone, tablet etc). Everything else is on Cat-6
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Nothing wrong with some good wired networking to push data between nodes. Rental homes and apartments generally don't mix with installing your own drops and running cable in the walls so wireless is the only clutter-free option for most of us short of buying powerline networking equipment which isn't always a good solution either.
  • peteroj - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    I've got a gigabit internet connection and due to my networking background, I wanted to get as fast WiFi as possible as well. I do use cable whenever I can though (some 10GE's and 2.5-5GE's in the house as well).

    I've got TP-Link's AC5400 (configured to bridge traffic only) and I can get 800+ Mbit/s from the public Internet with the iMac 5K WiFi from one room away. That's acceptable by my standards.
  • yeeeeman - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Because you have a cheap router. Buy yourself something a bit more potent and a Intel WiFi card and you will get over 500mbit easy.
  • Sushisamurai - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Yeah i definitely get 800Mbps+ a room away with 5GHz, up to 950Mbps last time I was doing some large transfers wirelessly between comps. My iPhone X caps out I think at about 300Mbps though, but a lot of that depends on server connections - device to device I'm at about 270-280 on average. I'm using the Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream™ AC5400. I would say your wireless connection really depends on the router and configuration.
  • RSAUser - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Busy copying a file over the network at 80MB/s via WiFi 802.11ac, tp link archer D7.
  • shadowjk - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    Most phones are only 1x1.
    Of my laptops only the large 17" gaming laptop supports 2x2.

    Only a quarter of the laptops I've used have supported 40Mhz on 2.4GHz.
    I've never encountered a phone with more than 1x1 20Mhz support on 2.4Ghz.

    So on other words you can buy brand new devices that only do 50Mbit/s sitting next to router when on 2.4Ghz.

    In theory mu-mimo should make it possible to simultaneously transmit to several devices... If I've understood correctly, even client devices need 2x2 or 3x3 radios to benefit from mu-mimo.. what do you think is the chances of manufacturers using such radios for their devices?

    Bandwidth isn't sexy anymore unless it's called 5G.
  • JKJK - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    most phones are only 1x1?
    Most flagship phones are 2x2.

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