Communication Antennas for Wi-Fi 6E
TE Connectivity offers a wide range of communication antennas for short-range data communication. The applications can be found in many daily situations from a Wi-Fi hotspot to Bluetooth headphones, wireless data exchange is in high demand. TE’s short range antenna solutions are also good for Wi-Fi 6E enabling new applications and services.
TE antennas for Wi-Fi 6E can support triple bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz) which enable extensive bandwidth increase in WLAN communication. The new portfolio has antenna product available on PCB, cabled PCB and cabled FPC. TE’s antenna solutions and integration expertise unleash the power of the extensive additional spectrum from Wi-Fi 6E, enabling new applications and services, greater network flexibility, and faster speeds with reduced latency in end devices and applications.
- Add 1200 MHz of frequency bandwidth, accommodating 14 additional 80 MHz channels or 7 additional 160 MHz channels
- State of the art bandwidth and robust RF performance
- Multiple wireless standards integration
- On-board and cabled versions available in PCB and FPC materials
- Customizable in cable length and connector types
- Customizable MIMO (Multi-input Multi-output) arrays
- Greater network flexibility with reduced congestion
- Faster and more reliable speed experience with reduced latency
- Offer system design flexibility
- Quick time-to-market with TE RF integration competence
Markets & Applications
- Access Points/Gateways/Routers
- Building Safety & Security
- Smart Cities & Homes
- Smart Medical & Health devices
- Connect to IoT
- Wi-Fi hotspots anywhere
In this episode, Christopher Li, Product Manager for RF Solutions, will discuss Wi-Fi evolution: where it is today, where it is moving in the future and why we are relying on it more than we think.
Tyler Kern (00:01):
Welcome to CONNECTED World, a podcast for engineers to learn more about the trending topics influencing the connected world and technology turning today's impossible into tomorrow's awesome.
Tyler Kern (00:11):
Hello, and welcome to CONNECTED World, a podcast from TE Connectivity. I'm Tyler Kern. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the show. Today, we're discussing Wi-Fi – where it is currently, where it's moving in the future, and some of the relevant details that you need to know. Joining me today for this conversation is Chris Li. He is a Product Manager for Antennas at TE Connectivity. Chris, thanks so much for joining us.
Chris Li (00:39):
Hey, thanks for having me, Tyler. It's great to chat with you today.
Tyler Kern (00:42):
Absolutely. Well, I'm excited to talk about this, Chris, because right now it feels like people are more reliant on Wi-Fi than maybe ever before, right? You have tons of people around the world working from home relying on that home Wi-Fi, and so it really has maybe elevated its importance in day to day lives for people. Let's talk a little bit about the current state of Wi-Fi. What is the current state of Wi-Fi? Where are we in the life cycle of this technology?
Chris Li (01:06):
You're right, Tyler. Wi-Fi is wonderful. We rely on it probably more than we think. Did you know that most of our cell phones often use our Wi-Fi signal in conjunction with GPS to locate us more precisely? It's especially obvious for places where GPS doesn't reach like tunnels, large buildings and underground structures. But we're getting to a point where a stable Wi-Fi connection, like you mentioned, as we are working from home more, is becoming really critical. If we stop and think about all the connected devices we have or will have, all these connections may cause congestion, very much like traffic on our freeway. There's possibly going to be continuous needs to find new ways to manage these connections, and, more importantly, the data has to be carried back and forth.
Chris Li (01:51):
Today, I guess the newest you could say is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ or IEEE 802.11ax, but just calling it Wi-Fi 6 is probably easier. That's one of the latest standards that we're seeing on the market today. This is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, which continues to use the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands more optimally than before, which can give us more speed and more data that can be carried. We're already seeing Wi-Fi 6 on some of the latest cell phones and devices, but only on some of the most recent ones. Wi-Fi 6 routers and access points are also becoming more available too.
Tyler Kern (02:26):
That's really interesting. Tell us what Wi-Fi 6 will then mean for consumers. Because you mentioned faster speeds, opening up different avenues, different highways for maybe lack of a better term. What does that mean for consumers, necessarily? Does it just mean, oh, if I buy all of these different things that are Wi-Fi enabled, then I will have faster browsing speeds and things along those lines?
Chris Li (02:48):
In a way, yes, that's definitely a possibility. But part of it too, is separating it into more lanes on a highway. If you can think of a highway getting wider and more lanes being added and having specific traffic going in certain lanes like an HOV lane or maybe a lane meant for bigger cars or bigger traffic –different types of data that get carried have different priorities, and we can separate those and create more lanes. It's a lot more efficient, and that'll enable speed and overall efficiency.
Tyler Kern (03:16):
Do you think that that then enables maybe, like the highway analogy, if you have an HOV lane, then that's diverting cars over to that lane, which means that there are less cars on the normal freeway? Does opening this up then allow for faster speeds across all of Wi-Fi?
Chris Li (03:35):
Yes. Overall, it should, but it's hard to say, because as we have more and more connected devices, these devices that will probably demand things that we're not aware of yet. That's kind of the cool thing about technology is that it opens up more possibilities, and more changes may be coming. So, Wi-Fi 6 is the current state, but there were five before that and four before that. As more technology opens up, we'll find more uses for them. Of course, speed is, as a consumer, what we normally want to experience, but also reliability – that connection. Sometimes speed is what we look at. Oh, my internet is slow, but it's more about the quality of your connection that makes that difference. Oftentimes, the speed is just fine, but if you're sending data that's corrupt or misread, then it has to reason that data, and that can cause congestion, too.
Tyler Kern (04:23):
All right. Chris, we've talked about Wi-Fi 6, so what other changes are coming to Wi-Fi maybe that people should be aware of? Are there any other innovations or things coming down the pipeline that people should know about?
Chris Li (04:32):
Yeah. Great question, Tyler. There are actually significant changes coming to Wi-Fi, but these changes you should think of more as additions, because the latest Wi-Fi standard should, or typically will be, always backward compatible with previous generations. The next step will be Wi-Fi 6E. E stands for extended.
Tyler Kern (04:51):
Tell me a little bit more about what that means for consumers. Is it similar to what we were discussing with Wi-Fi 6?
Chris Li (04:55):
Yeah, actually it's kind of similar, but it's much greater too. Wi-Fi 6 opened additional bandwidth within the 5 gigahertz span. So, traditional Wi-Fi, back in the day, was 2.4 gigahertz. Then, in 2009, 5 gigahertz band was added. Now, with Wi-Fi 6E, the 6 gigahertz band will be added. This is really huge. So, it may enable something called multi-user multiple input, multiple output, so MU-MIMO. It'll be much easier to understand with a quick internet search, but, basically, 14 additional 80 megahertz band channels and seven additional 160 megahertz channels are being added. What this means for consumers is that we will likely experience greater network flexibility with reduced congestion. In essence, we'll likely have faster, more reliable speeds with reduced latency.
Chris Li (05:45):
This basically means there'll be less delay between when we give an input and receive a response. Our Wi-Fi carries different types of data, and this may be further optimized by having more bands and wider bandwidth. Imagine more and wider lanes added to a freeway for different types of traffic – a super highway, if you will. It'll likely further enable applications within our smart homes and buildings, not just for our media consumption, but also safety and security.
Tyler Kern (06:11):
That's really fantastic. Yeah, absolutely. Maybe for everybody out there that are on Zoom calls all day long, maybe better connections, better video quality on your Zoom calls and that sort of thing. Right?
Chris Li (06:21):
Tyler Kern (06:22):
Which affects all of our day-to-day lives these days. Recently, Chris, the FCC voted to make this change in the United States to open up Wi-Fi 6E and that sort of thing, but other countries haven't yet followed suit. What does that mean for engineers, providers and consumers in the United States – the fact that the United States has opened up this highway, but maybe other countries haven't?
Chris Li (06:43):
Right. On April 23rd of this year, the FCC voted to make the 6 gigahertz band available for unlicensed use. Really, this opened the door for Wi-Fi 6E in the U.S. Other countries will need to make that decision. There's not necessarily a definitive date for most countries, but what that means is we'll likely see it first here in the U.S. It makes a lot of sense, since the U.S. leans on Wi-Fi maybe a little bit more than most other countries where a cellular signal is often good enough and suitable. Only time will tell, but we hope to see other countries enable 6 gigahertz band for Wi-Fi use as well, so when we travel abroad, our devices can take advantage of that. What that means for now is that engineers and providers and consumers could mainly focus mostly on the U.S. market for Wi-Fi 6E devices.
Tyler Kern (07:26):
That's really, really interesting, and certainly something that I think the United States will take advantage of for the time being for sure. Does opening a new frequency band like Wi-Fi 6E, like what we've been discussing, bring any challenges for engineers? What does it mean for them?
Chris Li (07:40):
Of course. With new changes and updates, there's always going to be challenges, but the benefits will definitely outweigh those challenges. I would say full usage of Wi-Fi 6E can't be completely known yet. As with most new technologies, fresh ideas and applications for it are going to be discovered over time. This is part of what makes it so exciting. New possibilities will be unlocked by our engineers, both in software and hardware. I like to think of it as a bigger playground – a much bigger playground. It can be a little daunting at first with all that space, but with time and exposure, I'm confident our engineers will definitely find a way to optimize for current usage that we need and for future applications. Engineers and challenges kind of go hand in hand, and so we need to just enable and inspire our engineers and give them the tools they need to make this successful.
Tyler Kern (08:28):
Definitely, definitely. When should people expect to be able to use Wi-Fi 6E? Is this something that's available now? Do I need to rush out and get a modem that is capable of carrying Wi-Fi 6E today, or is this something that we need to think about more for the future than maybe next week?
Chris Li (08:46):
Yeah, you're right. I wouldn't hold your breath or delay upgrading. It's going to take some time for a Wi-Fi 6E ecosystem to catch up. It's hard to predict. Companies move very fast these days. We may see a Wi-Fi 6E-enabled access point or a router before the end of the year, but more likely in 2021, and it'll probably become more common in 2022. To experience the 6 gigahertz band, we'll likely need 6E-enabled devices and access points. What that means is devices like phones and laptops, basically things we touch and look at, and access points, which are pretty much our Wi-Fi routers we have at home and businesses, and even outside. There's always going to be new technology around the corner, but we should probably decide based on our current and projected needs. One consideration is, how many connected devices do you have at home right now?
Chris Li (09:36):
If you have a lot, it's likely none of them support Wi-Fi 6E. In order to really take advantage of it, you'll most likely have to slowly or spend some cash to update every device to support Wi-Fi 6E. If you have a need today, I would recommend Wi-Fi 5 or even 6 would be more than appropriate, but there's no rush for this either, because most devices don't support Wi-Fi 6 yet either. Only the most recent and very select phones, cell phones and laptops support Wi-Fi 6. We're still early in the days of Wi-Fi 6, so no rush, but there is a strong possibility that its coming.
Tyler Kern (10:11):
No rush, so enjoy 6 for now, and then look ahead for 6E, maybe in a year or two. That seems to be a good summary of that, right?
Chris Li (10:19):
Yeah, that's right.
Tyler Kern (10:21):
Definitely, definitely. What kinds of challenges need to be overcome, and what kind of work needs to be done before Wi-Fi 6E is really widely available? Are there things that need to be accomplished before this is something that becomes more ubiquitous within society?
Chris Li (10:36):
Yeah. For us as consumers, I guess the hardest part is to wait, but with the band now available and licensed for use, most of the work may be on the design side. Companies are spinning up and preparing hardware and software, but after that's done, we may need to wait again for those products to be produced, built and then shipped and made available for purchase. But again, you will most likely need that whole ecosystem to really take advantage of it. Say you enter the market and you find a Wi-Fi 6E router and you buy it immediately. Well, if your phone, or your laptop and the connected devices in your home don't have Wi-Fi 6E also, you'll probably really be just having Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5 gigahertz. Fast and great, but it'll take some time for devices to catch up.
Tyler Kern (11:25):
Definitely. Absolutely. One of the things we haven't discussed yet that I think is really important to talk about is Wi-Fi security. As more work is being done over Wi-Fi with people working from home, security has become a larger and larger topic and more data and information are being shared by people working from home with documents that might be sensitive and things along those lines. Can you speak to the current state of security for Wi-Fi and maybe where that is now and where it could be moving in the future?
Chris Li (11:55):
Yeah. As you mentioned, with the availability of more bands and heavier usage, it’s definitely going to be a topic that continues to be very important, and security is one of the areas that we don't hear as much about, but it's definitely very heavily focused on. Because, as we have more and more of our privacy and more of our daily needs satisfied through Wi-Fi – our smart home garage door openers, things that tell us when someone's at the front door, we can know whether our windows are open – we kind of think of media consumption, but also there's fewer filters between us and what's out there. Security is definitely going to be at the forefront of that. I'm definitely not an expert on security, but I suggest being a smart consumer and doing your research, choose a device and hardware that's repeatable in the market from a company you trust and understand your home Wi-Fi network setup. Making a strong password, limiting access and just things like that.
Tyler Kern (12:52):
So, my passwords shouldn't be one, two, three, four.
Chris Li (12:55):
Yeah. That would not be a good idea.
Tyler Kern (12:57):
Okay. Good to know. I'm going to make a note of that. Chris, is there anything about Wi-Fi that we haven't discussed at this point in the podcast, as we start to kind of bring things to a close today? Is there anything we haven't talked about or anything you want to mention before we wrap up?
Chris Li (13:11):
There's probably a lot we haven't covered, but I think that's okay. I think mainly, we just want to focus on understanding that Wi-Fi is possibly going to continue to evolve. It's in generation 6E – that means there are many generations before that and possibly more generations to come. I would focus on the excitement around what's available today and making sure that what's available supports the needs that you have and upcoming needs that you have. Again, we covered, don't wait for Wi-Fi 6E. It could be some time, just make sure you have what you need today. If you don't, find expertise where they can advise and guide you.
Tyler Kern (13:48):
I think that's really sound advice. Chris Li, Product Manager for Antennas at TE Connectivity. Chris, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your expertise on Wi-Fi.
Chris Lee (13:57):
Thanks again, Tyler. It was really fun.
Tyler Kern (13:59):
Absolutely. And thank you everybody out there for listening to this episode of CONNECTED World, a podcast from TE Connectivity. We appreciate it very much. Of course, if you haven't listened to the previous episodes of the podcast, make sure you go and check those out as well as we dive into numerous topics around the connected world, talking about IoT devices and much, much more. So, you're going to want to go back and check out those episodes. Of course, while you're there, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to stay up to date with everything going on in the world of connectivity, and we'll be back soon with more episodes of the podcast. But until then, I've been your host today, Tyler Kern. Thanks so much for listening.
HIRSCHMANN MOBILITY antennas used for digital wireless data transmission over short distances. Antennas for short-range communication are typically passive antennas that are able to cover distances up to 200 m. Several standards exist and the antennas are specifically designed to one or more standards.
- Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5 GHz band
- V2X DSRC
- Other short- range standards
- Screw, adhesive or magnetic installation
- Film antenna
- Customer-specific adaptations possible
- Combinations of services possible
Car-to-Car, Car-to-X, and In-Car Communication
Short range communication technologies enable the wireless data interchange between mobile and stationary devices within a certain distance at any time and wherever needed. The range of applications is vast and effects almost every area of our daily life. From consumer electronics through industrial and building automation up to transport and logistics, as well as safety relevant automotive applications, short range communication is used to build up data networks in order to provide and exchange the relevant information.
TE supplies full automotive qualified antenna systems for e.g. V2X DSRC, Remote Keyless Entry, positioning and Infotainment as well as for non automotive applications like remote maintenance, transport telematics and other M2M/IoT applications.
Beside a range of standard products TE is specialized in developing customized antenna systems for the related frequency spectrum and installation spaces