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The difference between WIFI standard 11ax and 11ac Apr 13, 2018

The emergence of the 802.11ax standard has brought new challenges. However, when we put it together with the 11ac standard, which is widely used nowadays, we may not be able to accurately and clearly distinguish between the specific technical differences between the two, and we may even have doubts. 11ac has been able to meet the needs of families well. Do we really need 11ax?


?802.11ax is also known as High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW), which increases the average transmission rate for each user in a dense user environment by more than 4 times, which is to provide more users in a high-density environment. And stable data flow (average transmission rate) will effectively reduce network congestion and significantly increase wireless speed and coverage.


In addition, the 802.11ax standard is not only backward compatible with 11a/b/n/ac, but also can increase the average transmission rate for each user in high-density scenarios such as train stations and airports by a factor of four. Although similar to 11ac in terms of data rate and channel width, it can be used with 1024-QAM to provide new modulation and coding combinations (MCS 10 and 11). Not only that, but also through the MU-MIMO and OFDMA technology, the specified downlink and uplink multi-user operations.


11ax also provides 4x OFDM FFT, narrower subcarrier spacing (4x density), and 4x code time to improve multipath attenuation and outdoor robustness and performance, as well as traffic and channel access situation. Because of its better power management, it can provide longer battery life.


Based on the above "capabilities", what are the target application requirements for 802.11ax? The first is the removal of mobile data. By 2020, Wi-Fi offloads generated each month will reach 38.1 EB, and continue to exceed the monthly mobile traffic (30.6 EB) estimate, equivalent to moving more than 6,000 Blu-ray movies per minute on these networks; Secondly, with a large number of access points and a high-density environment where users hold heterogeneous devices, it is necessary to know “airport Wi-Fi” or “home Wi-Fi”; and thirdly, to adapt well to outdoor and Mix outdoor environment.


In contrast, although the 802.11ac standard can achieve nearly 866 Mbit/s link speeds in a single spatial stream, 160 MHz wider channels, and 256-QAM modulation orders when using 8 spatial streams (standard specification With an upper limit of 11), 11ac will achieve a theoretical speed of up to 6.97 Gbit/s. But! If you are not in the RF lab, it will be difficult to implement a high-speed 7Gbit/s wireless network. Therefore, in a real airport terminal, whenever you want to connect to a public Wi-Fi Internet connection or check your e-mail, the speed of your Internet connection is crumbled.


Another important point must be got. We say that 802.11ac only operates in the 5GHz band, while 802.11ax can 'take all' of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual bands. However, 11ax also covers a major change, which is to reduce the subcarrier spacing to 1/4 of the previous 802.11 standard to preserve the existing channel bandwidth.


Not only that, 802.11ax employs both single-user and multi-user modes of operation. In the single user sequence mode, as long as the wireless STA (radio base station) obtains the media access right, it will perform one data transmission and receiving operation each time; in the multi-user mode, multiple non-AP STA operations may be performed synchronously. , And the standard will further divide this mode into lower chain and uplink users. Speaking of this, you may feel confused, so we made a table to compare the differences between 11ac and 11ax more intuitively:


The 802.11ax wireless standard that we are talking about today actually has many technical advantages. Even some of the unfamiliar vocabulary we haven't even listened to, let alone those highly sophisticated technologies that alone can run at 2.4G and The 5G band has been very lovable. So powerful, when will it be widely available? Actually, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Marvell and other chip manufacturers have all launched chip products based on 802.11ax technology. Network equipment manufacturers such as Asustek and Ruijie have also launched corresponding home and enterprise products, but only currently support 11ax terminals. Not yet published, I believe this is only a matter of time under the general trend.