Intel to ship 802.11ax chipsets in 2018

Isaac Cain
January 11, 2018

Intel is also helping OEMs smoothly transition to the new standard.

PixabayThe new Wi-Fi standard 802.11ax promises faster speed even over multiple connections. And while Intel's Wi-Fi chips are used in Arris routers - which are used by Comcast, so they're inherently pretty popular - Intel isn't almost as big in the connectivity space as some of the other chip companies, so this availability isn't necessarily going to be what gets the ball rolling. The company claims that its chipsets will outperform their predecessors operating under the 802.11ac standard by a margin of 40% on a single-client device in terms of peak data rates.

When Wi-Fi works smarter, consumers - my family included - get faster, smoother content streaming, online gaming, video calls and Internet browsing.

Any household with lots of devices connected to a central router would benefit from 802.11ax, as well.

Furthermore, Intel's 802.11ax chipsets are based on Draft 2.0 of 802.11ax, which will be the baseline for 802.11ax certification.

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Analyst firm IHS Markit forecasts 802.11ax-enabled device shipments will increase from a relative trickle of 116,000 units in 2019 to a flood of 58 million in 2021.

This time frame is also emphasized in an e-mail by the Wi-Fi Alliance to The Verge.

"There are already more than eight devices in the average United States home" using Wi-Fi, said Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing for the Wi-Fi Alliance.

In the e-mail, the Alliance said that most companies will not manufacture devices compliant to 802.11ax this year. Intel will expand its home Wi-Fi portfolio with new 802.11ax chipsets for mainstream 2×2 and 4×4 home routers and gateways for cable, xDSL, fiber and consumer retail devices. That's because product certification doesn't begin until next year, and certification, a spokesperson said, "is typically an inflection point toward broader industry adoption". It'll be several months before certified products hit the market. Certain chips from Intel to be released this year will support the new standard.

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