Upcoming iPhone 7 possibly to come with 4K-capable 802.11ad super-WiFi
Stephan Jukic – June 07, 2016
A serious replacement for the existing iPhone 6S Apple flagship smartphone is expected in the fall and of course rumors are already circulating about just what we can expect.
Dubbed the iPhone 7 by tech watchers, the new Apple phone hasn’t thus far attracted as much speculation as one might expect for particularly insane technology features and most of what has been rumored to-date revolves around relatively mundane new enhancements like camera improvements, bigger storage capacity and the possible elimination of the iPhone headphone jack.
However, more recently, newer information about the iPhone 7 has indicated that at least one particular new feature could be more exotic. This latest rumor is based on comments made a few days ago by the head of one of the chipmakers which supply Apple and what those comments indicate is that the new phone will come with a new, remarkably robust, 4K UHD-capable version of WiFi which goes by the name of WiGig, or more technically, 802.11ad WiFi.
What the new Wireless internet technology will offer the iPhone 7, if it’s included, is the capacity to stream 4K ultra HD video from online sources while also dramatically enhancing the phone’s capacity to handle streaming from gaming applications and game connections in nearby devices docked with the phone.
Apple has already developed 4K video recording capacity for its iPhone line since the release of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models in late 2015 but this new turn further enhances this extremely popular phone’s 4K-related chops considerably.
This rumor of heavily upgraded 4K-capable WiFi is something that industry watchers like research director Neil Shah, of Counterpoint Technology Market Research are also taking at least somewhat seriously, as the analyst recently stated, according to a recent Fortune Magazine article on the iPhone 7, “I estimate the iPhone 7 could feature that. It makes sense for Apple to upgrade to ad” [the new 802.11ad WiGig standard].
Furthermore, in a recent quarterly earnings call by Broadcom, the maker of a number of Apple’s internal iPhone parts, company CEO Hock Tan had said in a slightly indirect way that his company is getting ready for large orders of the next iPhone. This reference to the iPhone was indirect in the sense that the Broadcom CEO did not refer to Apple by name and instead simply called it “a large North American smartphone customer”. However since Apple is the only North American company which fits this description, the reference is quite obvious.
The Broadcom CEO also made comments to the effect that the large phone customer (presumably Apple) will heavily boost Broadcom’s business as they move over to the company’s next generation wireless platform, stating that, “We anticipate our wireless connectivity business to continue to drive significant innovation for mobile Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications, and expect this product line to be a very key long-term contributor to our wireless segment.”
While CEO Tan also did not refer specifically to the 4K-capable WiGig wireless technology by name, there reference to a next-generation wireless platform is almost certainly aimed at WiGig since there are no other known advanced WiFi/Bluetooth features in that particular technology space currently available.
The WiGig standard is also being developed by other chipmakers like Qualcomm but Broadcom is the Apple provider of technologies of this type and their reference to next-generation WiFi platforms for the “large North American smartphone customer” almost certainly refers to WiGig 802.11ad.
As for the specific details of WiGig itself, the new standard is capable of transferring data at a hefty maximum data rate of 7 gigabits per second, at least theoretically. This makes 802.11ad roughly 20 times faster than the most powerful established WiFi variant, 802.11ac. WiGig furthermore operates on the 60GHz radio frequency band and thus occupies a much quieter radio space than established WiFi standards do with their operation on the 2.5GHz and 5 GHz bands.
One executive of Broadcom also went into detail about the benefits of 802.11ad WiFi in a blog post from 2015, explaining that the new standard works best at a range of 12 feet or less and thus offers excellent in-room and point-to-point streaming capacity for uses such as wireless connectivity between a TV and a smartphone. Because of this, it would be a powerful tool in the next generations of mobile devices like the iPhone, especially as 4K content from numerous web-based sources and media devices becomes ever more popular and also because ultra HD content created by phones like the iPhone 7 itself –which will certainly include a 4K video camera—needs to be easily shared to other devices without the need for cables.
That said, the iPhone 7 and other smartphones we can expect for late 2016 and 2017 will still use normal 802.11ac WiFi even if they’re capable of 802.11ad WiGig connectivity. As the Broadcom executive who wrote the above-mentioned blog post on WiGig states in his piece, “Tri-band solutions incorporating 802.11ac and 802.11ad will deliver a seamless experience using whatever works best for a particular distance and application, allowing consumers to surf and stream at lightning fast speeds.”
4K content will have an interesting future in mobile devices with solutions like that which is rumored for the iPhone 7.
Story by 4k.com