The WiFi Alliance has just announced an update to the WiFi 6 standard, with WiFi Certified 6 Release 2 aimed at improving efficiency and reducing network congestion for networks with many connected devices.
It’s also going to make it even harder to figure out the capabilities of networking gear, since you’ll now have to figure out if your routers and connected devices support WiFi 6 Release 1, Release 2, WiFi 6E, or something else altogether.
In a nutshell, here’s what the WiFi Alliance says is new in the new WiFi 6 Release 2 standard:
- Support for multi-user multiple input, multiple output (multi-user MIMO)
- New low power and sleep mode features including:
- Broadcast Target Wake Time (TWT)
- Extended Sleep Time
- Dynamic multi-user special multiplexing power save (SMPS)
The organization says the new multi-user MIMO capabilities will allow multiple devices to upload data to an access point concurrently, which could speed up performance. A lot of routers and access points had previously prioritized downlink performance under the assumption that you’d be streaming data to your computers, phones, and IoT devices more often than from them, but that’s not as true as it used to be.
The new power management features, meanwhile, are designed to reduce the overall power consumption of networking gear in a way that could cut costs (and carbon footprints) of IoT devices in smart homes, businesses, or “smart city” applications.
The WiFi consoritium joined the USB school of naming…
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