At its recent Executive Summit, MediaTek spoke about its Filogic 880 and Filogic 330 WiFi 7 solutions (announced in May 2023) and more importantly showed live demonstrations on both the router and client side. One of the demos offers a speed of 13 Gbps between two WiFi 7 devices, which is phenomenal.
If you are not familiar with these two platforms, Filogic 880 is destined to power WiFi 7 in the router, while Filogic 330 is integrated in clients such as computers, smart TVs, etc.
While these demos are designed to show best-case scenarios, the technological prowess is nonetheless impressive and gives a glimpse of where consumer-level wireless networks are headed in the near future.
In this case, two WiFi-7 router devices were in close proximity and a demonstration laptop had external antennas. It’s not a real-world scenario, but the laptop demo shows that WiFi 7’s final speeds may be limited by the antenna design rather than the chipset. This again shows that many of the challenges in wireless networks also lie in the analog domain.
That Filogic 880 is intended to communicate with multiple WiFi 7 devices simultaneously, and its maximum theoretical bandwidth is 36 Gbps. That’s an impressive number, even for users equipped with fast gear. I still use wired ethernet for its reliability and low latency, but these demos got me trying wireless again on my primary PC.
Filogic 880 has useful features such as VPN Accelerator (Tunneling Offload Engine) or its hardware cryptographic engine. Thanks to the rise of work-from-home workers, more people need these features than ever before.
For the most demanding customers, Filogic 880 supports two wired 10Gbps Ethernet ports, which could be very convenient for transferring files between two workstations on the local network. That assumes such computers have 10Gbps Ethernet support, and unfortunately that’s uncommon without buying an adapter ($100-$300). It’s not cheap, but SMBs and power users would appreciate the option.
All this speed is made possible by some of the nerdiest and most advanced wireless and signal processing technologies, such as: B. the operation of multiple frequencies (MLO, Multiple Link Operation) or the support of all possible WLAN bands, advanced beamforming and highly parallel processing.
That Filogic 380 is a client-side WiFi-7 chip that typically communicates with a router device or mesh node at speeds up to 6.5 Gbps. It achieves such rates through the use of simultaneous bands and channels. I can’t think of a real-world scenario where WiFi 7 performance is limited by the chip rather than the antenna design or external factors of the WiFi environment or router. This seems like a good long-term investment.
The last few years have been incredible for WiFi with the introduction of WiFi mesh networks, then WiFi-6, followed by WiFi 6E. Work on WiFi 7 appears to be well underway, with solid demos from MediaTek. This gives OEMs a great connectivity platform to build on, and there’s a lot of incentive to use MediaTek as an overall platform (including the SoC) rather than having to mix and match. Expect more demos at CES 2023, perhaps with product announcements.
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