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What is 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6?

The next standard for wireless LAN is IEEE 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 has arrived and testing Wi-Fi 6 has become critical. As the next-generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) is designed for our everything-and-everyone connected world. Previous generations of Wi-Fi have been about speed, 802.11ax is about efficiency and speed and providing that speed to multiple users at the same time.

The Wi-Fi spectrum is very crowded and previous standards were never engineered for concentrated or dense user scenarios like airports, stadiums, apartment buildings and so on. Wi-Fi meets LTE in 802.11ax enabling 2x higher throughput and 10x higher data capacity.

High-Performance Testing for 802.11ax Devices

Comprehensive, multi-device test solutions for the next generation of wireless connectivity products here and now.

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Testing 802.11ax: What You Need to Know

Understanding what to expect with upcoming changes so you can prepare for future testing requirements.

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802.11ax Test and Deployment Challenges

Solving the Test & Deployment Challenges for 802.11ax

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Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) is a multi-user version of the popular Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) digital modulation scheme. Multiple access is achieved in OFDMA by assigning subsets of subcarriers to individual users. This allows simultaneous data transmission to and from several users.

802.11ax systems require close Access Point (AP) to station “handshaking.” Think of the AP as a mini base station. The AP groups transmissions for download and upload and to and from multiple users. This requires precise timing and frequency control to combine multiple users together.

The OFDMA system supports users to “talk” at the same time (<400 ns difference) and at the same carrier frequency (<350 Hz difference). In addition, the AP talks “loud” (higher power) to far away users and “soft” (lower power) to close users. Additionally, users that are far away need to talk “louder” to the AP and users that are close need to talk “softer” to the AP. Each user is allocated one or more Resource Units (RU). Resource Units are segments of time and frequency similar to today’s cellular technology.

Why does that matter? Testing time and frequency creates many more scenarios that need to be tested with critical accuracy compared with traditional Wi-Fi. Test calibration is also required for power level source and measurement.

Comprehensive 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Test Leader

LitePoint is the lowest risk solution for bringing new Wi-Fi technologies to market.

LitePoint is supported in all of the 802.11ax chipset tools. It is on the leading edge of 802.11ax feature development, including innovating new test methods to achieve faster test times. With the largest global installed base of production Wi-Fi testers, LitePoint is the leader in Wi-Fi test.

LitePoint leads with:

  • Compatibility Across Platforms
  • High Equipment Utilization
  • Best Production Economics
  • Helping Accelerate Time to Market
  • Comprehensive Chipset Coverage
  • Turnkey IQfact+ Solutions
  • Performance
  • Support

…the entire integrated test system must be optimized to imitate real-world operating conditions.

Chris DeMartino | Microwaves & RF