Qualcomm Announces New Modular Immersive Home Platform for Next-Generation Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Wi-Fi Networks

October 29 2020, 00:20
Qualcomm Technologies unveiled the Qualcomm Immersive Home Platforms, a successor to the company’s pioneering mesh networking solutions which are currently present in all modern Wi-Fi 6 Mesh routers. The new Qualcomm modular chip architecture is intended to power high-performance, cost-effective Wi-Fi 6E mesh deployments, designed to deliver wireless Gigabit speeds throughout the connected home, benefiting from the latest 6GHz technology introduced earlier in 2020.

The new cost-effective platforms have been designed to deploy Gigabit-speed wireless performance to every room in the home in form factors as small as the palm of the hand. This engineering feat is achieved through a novel modular architecture approach, significant advancements in network packet processing technology and an integration of next-generation Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, now expanding WLAN coverage to additional 5.850 to 6425 MHz spectrum (160 MHz channels), currently being authorized for Wi-Fi applications all over the world in direct response to skyrocketing home data demand.

Qualcomm designed its new Immersive Home Platforms as four distinct product tiers. These tiers grant increased design flexibility to manufacturers and broadband carriers motivated to embrace Wi-Fi 6 and 6E mesh architectures comprehensively across their entire product portfolio.

Representing the Qualcomm Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 platforms within the portfolio, the 310 Series offerings are designed to simultaneously leverage all three bands of spectrum to support IoT-class devices (2.4GHz), today’s legacy media devices (5GHz), and enable congestion-relieving migration of node-to-node backhaul traffic from 5GHz to the 6GHz band, while ensuring the network is prepared to support devices supporting emerging 6GHz applications (VR/XR, live video sharing/streaming, real-time gaming).

The flagship solution is the Qualcomm Immersive Home 318 Platform, featuring support for all Wi-Fi standards (Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 5, 802.11a/b/g/n) and multi-gigabit wireless throughput thanks to advanced 8-stream Tri-Band in a 2x2 (2.4GHz) + 2x2 (5GHz) + 4x4 (6GHz) configuration, for a total of 7.8 Gbps total available PHY rate. With similar specs, the Qualcomm Immersive Home 316 Platform is an advanced 6-stream Tri-Band in a 2x2 (2.4GHz) + 2x2 (5GHz) + 2x2 (6GHz) configuration, for a total of 5.4 Gbps total available PHY rate and similar features.

These integrated solutions are all powered by a dual-core 1.0GHz Cortex-A53 ARM CPU, and feature WPA3 advanced Wi-Fi security options, eMMC, NAND, SPI NOR Flash and DDR3L memory, Bluetooth 5.1 and 4G/5G FWA platform extensions.

Next in the range is the Qualcomm Immersive Home 210 Series, designed to offer immediate and significant performance and cost benefits to existing mesh providers and no support for Wi-Fi 6E. The Qualcomm Immersive Home 216 Platform is a 6-stream Wi-Fi 6 in a 2x2 (2.4GHz) + 4x4 (5GHz) configuration, for a total of 5.4 Gbps total available PHY rate, while the Qualcomm Immersive Home 214 Platform is a 4-stream Wi-Fi 6 in a 2x2 (2.4GHz) + 2x2 (5GHz) configuration, for a total of 3.0 Gbps total available PHY rate.

In both dual and tri-band series, the new Qualcomm Immersive Home Platforms bring significant differentiation to deliver Gigabit wireless in a form factor highly optimized for size, scale and performance. For instance, when compared to the existing Qualcomm IPQ4xxx family (found in the majority of Wi-Fi 5-generation mesh systems), these new Immersive Home Platforms can deliver 2.5X throughput per watt - a system-level optimization that keeps industrial designs small, heat profiles cool, and overall device costs low. The devices are also built to deliver seamless roaming, band/node client steering, and advanced security safeguards across Wi-Fi 4, 5, 6, 6E, and support many of the industry’s mesh software protocols including Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON, the OpenSync open-source software, eero’s TrueMesh and, more importantly, the latest Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh standard.

These devices will support all the Wi-Fi connected devices in a modern smart home, while high-performance Bluetooth integration enables seamless onboarding and integration of advanced applications leveraging either connectivity technology. Qualcomm Immersive Home Platforms can support, in certain configurations with 6GHz operation, a new class of emerging latency-sensitive applications for mobile gaming and augmented reality.

"We have launched the Qualcomm Immersive Home platforms, a fresh approach to home networking leveraging high powered Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, a fresh architectural design customized for home deployments, and advanced features designed to deliver Gigabit performance to every corner of the home," says Nick Kucharewski, vice president and general manager, Wireless Infrastructure & Networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Today, as offices, classrooms, movie theaters, and everything in between move into the home, high performance Wi-Fi has transitioned from luxury to mission critical utility."

"Wi-Fi’s popularity has created increasingly diverse and densely populated Wi-Fi environments, including home networks which must now support many demanding applications simultaneously," explains Kevin Robinson, senior vice president of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. "The capabilities of Wi-Fi 6E, such as gigabit speeds, low latency, and high capacity, will benefit users where they now need it most and allow Wi-Fi devices to operate efficiently in the most dynamic home connectivity settings."

The Qualcomm announcement was supported with significant support  from all the key vendors in the Wi-Fi Mesh router space, including Askey, AVM, Belkin (Linksys), EnGenius, eero (Amazon), Netgear, TP-Link, and others.

Qualcomm Immersive Home Platforms are sampling now.
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