New technologies added to Wi-Fi 6 to boost data rates and reliability also lend themselves to low power operation, and Imaginations Ensigma division in Chepstow has used this for a full chip design in a 40nm process that has a long battery life in the IoT.
Wi-Fi is not traditionally considered for IoT and industrial applications as a result of the power consumption, but over 4bn Wi-FI devices are predicted to ship in 2021, giving a huge installed base to connect to.
The iEW400 full chip Wi-Fi 6 design adds 20-/40-MHz operation for low-data-rate applications to conserve battery power, as well as Target Wake Time (TWT) that extends deep-sleep periods, improving current consumption and extending battery life. It uses orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) so that the bandwidth can be segmented, allowing multiple devices to receive data in the same time frame. This increases data transmission efficiency and reduces power consumption for network applications.
New features such as Basic Service Set (BSS) Colouring in Wi-Fi 6 increases robustness in dense environments, enabling improved data throughput in areas where there are multiple access points and many clients, such as large crowds. With BSS Colouring , each data from each access point is prescribed a “colour”, so clients can identify which one is transmitting, resulting in improved network performance.