The Road to WiFi 6E Part 3: Low Latency

Tue, 04/05/2022 - 12:07

This blog post is the third in a series of articles we’ll be presenting over the course of 2022 about WiFi 6 (and 6E) – the current and future top-of-the-line WiFi standards championed by the WiFi Alliance. We’ll be discussing the history of the evolving standard of WiFi, new features introduced in WiFi 6 and 6E, applications beyond the commonly known consumer use cases, and much more. Additionally, we’ll be releasing a companion series of video interviews with Laird Connectivity experts, which you can find here.

Speedy Delivery: How Low Latency Impacts Everything

If you’ve been following our series of blog posts on WiFi 6 and 6E, you’ll have started to notice a pattern emerging among the many changes and updates in the new standard: Efficiency. Whether it’s packing more data into each clock cycle with QAM, or smarter channel management, or new spectrum that spreads devices farther apart across the available frequencies, many of the changes in WiFi 6 and 6E are focused on improving the efficiency of the network. That means more devices, communicating more effectively, and according to their requirements.

In this post we’re talking about the low latency achieved in WiFi 6 and 6E with orthogonal frequency‑division multiple access, or OFDMA. OFDMA is new to WiFi, but it’s well established in other wireless technologies such as LTE. And as with many of the other features we’re discussing here, its advantages are multipurpose; that is to say, OFDMA is about more than getting data to its destination rapidly. It has far-reaching effect in terms of device battery usage, priority of data, and other concerns for every kind of WiFi device.