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You've got until 2025 to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 before it's yesterday's news

An Asus router with a looming shadow behind it.
(Image credit: Asus)
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Intel's upcoming Wi-Fi 7 '802.11be' is looking to be a significant improvement over the current standard, with the company claiming the next generation will boast double the frequency bandwidth and processing speeds of Wi-Fi 6E. And with a good while left before it's set to hit markets properly, those numbers could yet see further improvements.

According to Korea IT News (opens in new tab) (via Hardware Info (opens in new tab)) Intel's vice president of Wireless Solutions, Eric McLaughlin, claims that the next generation of Wi-Fi will be "more than twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6E." That'll include improvements to the processing speeds and bandwidth, as well as the stability of the connection.

Essentially, the improved tech will offer high speeds over 6GHz, with wider 320MHz single channel bandwidth. Over a two 2x2 connection, it could max out at around 5.8Gbps. That's a big improvement over Wi-Fi 6E, which delivers 2.4Gbps over a 2x2 connection. 

Theoretically, Wi-Fi 7 could support speeds of up to 36Gbps, and we've seen MediaTek Wi-Fi 7 demos achieve at least 30Gbps (opens in new tab), which is "the maximum speed defined by IEEE 802.11be." 

McLaughlin notes that "Since there is more than a year left before the release of 802.11be, there is still a chance that we could improve the processing speed even further."

At a recent press conference about the tech, McLaughlin says his team is "currently developing Intel's Wi-Fi '802.11be' in order to obtain the Wi-Fi Alliance certification, and it will be installed in PC products such as laptops by 2024." McLaughlin makes it clear that Intel doesn't expect it to appear in major markets until 2025, however.

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That means that, while we've already seen the world's first Wi-Fi 7 router release before Wi-Fi 7 is even certified (opens in new tab), we'll have to wait a while before our laptops come packing this fancy new tech. When that day comes around, though, we could be seeing some truly breakneck speeds in the laptops of tomorrow. As Intel builds "strong partnerships with various global companies," Wi-Fi 7 moves ever closer to our desks, and we're getting pretty antsy here in the PCG office.

Imagine how much time we could save transferring today's huge games (opens in new tab) over that kind of connection. And maybe then we'd trust Wi-Fi to game on as much as we trust ethernet. 

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.