Qualcomm announced a new range of Wi-Fi chips — Qualcomm Networking Pro Series — designed to work with Wi-Fi 6, the newest version of the technology.
Qualcomm hopes the investment in the design of Wi-Fi 6 chips will help boost the sales of its separate 5G chips.
Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president and chief of its chip division, said the US-based tech company hopes to one day sell chips for both technologies to the manufacturers of business networking gear.
Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 6 chips will cater to growing segments such as mobile Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi for home networking, IoT, automotive Wi-Fi, among others.
CommScope’s Ruckus, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Belkin and Netgear are some of the customers for Qualcomm Networking Pro Series.
Lee Jong-Pil, vice president, KT Institute of Convergence Technology, said: “With the new Wi-Fi 6 networking platform, we’ll be able to accelerate our time-to-market leadership and availability of Wi-Fi 6 in South Korea.”
Qualcomm is the biggest supplier of mobile phone chips but has been looking to expand beyond that as the global phone market has stagnated in recent years.
Nick Kucharewski, vice president, wireless infrastructure and networking, Qualcomm Technologies, said: “The Qualcomm Networking Pro Series platforms raise the bar for the management of the connected devices.”
The San Diego-based tech company has been pushing instead into chips for automobiles, headphones, laptops and other devices. Its Wi-Fi chips are found in devices such as the “mesh” Wi-Fi routers made by Alphabet’s Google and designed to help provide better coverage over an entire household.
Separately, Qualcomm is working with phone makers such as Samsung Electronics, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, among others, to bring chips for 5G smartphones. Apple, the third largest and Huawei, the second largest smartphone makers, are unlikely to depend on Qualcomm chipset for their 5G smartphones.
The Wi-Fi chips will enable Qualcomm to add revenue from two lines of business. Both Wi-Fi 6, which is expected to roll out by 2022, and 5G technology, will be allowing Wi-Fi routers to more seamlessly hand off connections with mobile phones and other devices that use both kinds of networks.
Recently, Qualcomm said its revenue streams faced challenges as China-based smartphone companies reduced the launch of new smartphones due to competition from Huawei in their domestic market.
Unlike 4G technology where the networks were primarily owned by telecommunications operators, 5G technology will allow businesses to build their own private 5G networks to better connect large campuses, factories and other locations that remain difficult to blanket with Wi-Fi, Reuters reported.