MaxLinear Inc. announced the seventh generation of its Wi-Fi SoC solution targeting service provider gateways, Wi-Fi routers and access points. The highly integrated Wi-Fi 7 family of chips offers an industry-first single-SoC solution that delivers more than 70 percent higher tri-band throughput verses Wi-Fi 6. The chips are currently sampling to selected partners and MaxLinear-enabled products are expected in 2023.

“Our Wi-Fi 7 single chip solution enables fast, robust, and reliable connectivity elevating the user experience,” said Will Torgerson, vice president and general manager, broadband group for MaxLinear. “We help our partners reduce complexity, drive form-factor innovation and spend less time designing next generation gateways, routers and access points.”

Wi-Fi 7⁠—also called Extremely High Throughput (EHT)—is one of the most significant Wi-Fi upgrades to date. Built on the IEEE 802.11be standard, it delivers 11.5 Gbps of peak throughput on the 6 GHz spectrum. This makes the throughput more than twice as fast as the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6. This increase is accomplished by doubling the bandwidth to 320 MHz and enhancing the modulation to 4096 QAM.

Making the untethered experience more robust, multi-link operation (MLO) is another marquee Wi-Fi 7 feature which enables channel aggregation to deliver lower latency and higher throughput in congested environments.

MaxLinear Wi-Fi 7 advantages include:

  • Lowers total system cost and development time: Single chip reduces total bill of material and board complexity, with less time spent on thermal, mechanical and PCB designs. Single chip also drives smaller form-factor which enables system integrators to build more elegant product designs.
  • Provides seamless, coordinated view of multi-bands for optimal MLO experience: Single chip has one coordinated view of data flows across multiple channels in dual- and tri-band configurations for faster recovery from retransmissions during interference. This improves link robustness and client efficiency, enables deterministic latency and higher throughput for demanding high-bandwidth applications in heavily congested environments like multi-dwelling units. 
  • Enhances network efficiency with “On-the-fly MAC”: MaxLinear’s improved proprietary “on-the-fly MAC” architecture optimizes large and small packet scheduling and performance. It reduces the overheads in the data path and enables quick recovery from data retransmissions during interference. 
  • Reduces dead spots with dedicated chain for ZWDFS:  Provides seamless operations in DFS channels while adhering to stringent DFS (re)entry rules. Delivers uncompromised 4x4 range and performance reducing dead spots while offering best-in-class user experience.

When used with MaxLinear’s gateway and access products, AnyWAN™, the solution can be highly optimized to deliver unparalleled performance, maintaining quality of service end-to-end, and delivering line-rate throughputs inside and outside of the home.

The Wi-Fi 7 family consists of two chips: The MxL31712 and the MxL31708. The MxL31712 is targeted for premium segment 4x4 tri-band market targeting throughput up to 18.6 Gbps. The MxL31708 is targeted for mid- to high-range 4x4 dual-band market targeting throughput up to 17 Gbps. 

Common features applicable to both chips include:

  • Single chip WFA Wi-Fi 7 R1 certifiable
  • Based on IEEE 802.11be (EHT); backward compliant to IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Support Key Wi-Fi 7 features such as:
    • Bandwidth up to 320 MHz
    • 4096 QAM modulation
    • MLO 
    • Multi Resource Unit
  • Dedicated antenna for Zero Wait DFS 
  • Enhanced Network Efficiency
  • DPD 
  • Automatic frequency coordination support
  • Fully offloaded Wi-Fi traffic
  • Coexistence support for PAN radios
  • Interface(s): PCIe Gen4.