Qualcomm FastConnect 7900 Brings AI-Fueled WiFi-7 With Bluetooth And UWB

Qualcomm FastConnect 7900 Brings AI-Fueled WiFi-7 With Bluetooth And UWB

The term Wi-Fi is essentially synonymous with internet connectivity for the vast majority of mainstream users. People consider “getting on the WiFi” the same as connecting to the internet in general. And like complementary mobile cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi is continually evolving to meet ever-increasing modern demands. As such, at Mobile World Congress today, wireless connectivity powerhouse Qualcomm took the wraps off its new FastConnect 7900 integrated mobile Wi-Fi solution, that delivers a number of industry firsts, from AI-optimized Wi-Fi-7 performance, to fully-integrated on-chip Bluetooth and Ultra Wide Band radio technologies, the latter of which is no small feat of engineering.

What AI-Optimized Wi-Fi-7 Really Means With FastConnect 7900

In this age of artificial intelligence, too often the term is sprinkled around for affect, rather than spearheading true innovation. That said, Qualcomm’s new FastConnect 7900 uses on-device trained AI models that provide classification, quality of service optimization and prioritization of various data stream types, like streaming video, audio, text, gaming, video conferencing, etc. Each of these data types has its own unique traffic signature, and though Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7900 doesn’t do actual packet inspection in real time, these on-device AI models observe and optimize latency, bandwidth and bandwidth allocation in real-time for various types of data throughput.

For example, a video conferencing application like Zoom needs a healthy amount of upload bandwidth to transmit your video feed, as well as download bandwidth to deliver others’ feeds on the call to you. It also needs to synchronize audio and video together, as well as provide full duplex audio and echo cancellation techniques, all of which place specific strain on the Wi-Fi link. The same can be said for mobile gaming applications as well, where latency and ping response times are critical for satisfying multiplayer gameplay.

While the intrinsic benefits of WiFi-7 bring more bandwidth, lower latency and longer reach, Qualcomm’s new FastConnect 7900 should more efficiently make better use of those resources, taking better advantage of what Wi-Fi-7 has to offer.


In addition, FastConnect 7900 also brings the company’s next-gen technology called HBS, or High Bandwidth Simultaneous which utilizes the high 5 and 6GHz bands for multi-link device connectivity. Combined with Qualcomm’s XPAN technology, multi-device connectivity from the phone to displays, controllers, etc. is getting better and better. In conjunction with QCOM’s Snapdragon Sound tech, XPAN can also deliver high-bitrate music and lossless audio streaming up to 192kHz.

Integrated Bluetooth And UWB Make FastConnect 7900 A Complete Mobile Connectivity Solution Complementing 5G

The other key advantage of FastConnect 7900 is the integration of both Bluetooth 5.4 and 802.15 Ultra Wide-Band radios on this one single chip for mobile devices. This not only lowers power consumption and board real estate for phone manufacturers, but simplifies designs significantly and delivers powerful device proximity and awareness technologies. So, from Bluetooth buds and speakers, to digital key, object finding and indoor navigation, combined with AI-fueled Wi-Fi 7 connectivity, one might say “it’s in there” for FastConnect 7900.

To be fair, UWB technology hasn’t gotten enough traction yet, except for a few niche markets like tracker tags and high-fidelity wireless headphones, but with the integration of the technology in this new combo Wi-Fi 7 solution from Qualcomm, in the Android market it should be poised for significant expansion later this year.

Power Efficiency And The FastConnect 7900 Wrap

The third and final pillar for Qualcomm’s new FastConnect 7900 platform, in addition to its AI smarts and highly-integrated connectivity technologies, is its power-efficiency. With 50% lower power consumption of its 6nm-built RF front end modules and 40% lower power consumption of the chip itself, Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7900 solution should be the most power-efficient mobile Wi-Fi 7 solution the company has delivered yet.

From an analyst’s perspective, I’ve been waiting to see Wi-Fi 7 begin to finally take off, even though Wi-Fi 7 ready client devices and access points have been on the market for over a year or so now. That said, I do think 2024 will be the year Wi-Fi 7 becomes reality, with the Wi-Fi Alliance officially beginning its Wi-Fi 7 device certification program recently. I also recently had a chance to speak with Javier del Prado, vice president and general manager – Mobile Connectivity at Qualcomm about Wi-Fi-7 adoption. I was surprised to learn that the company has shipped 10s of millions of units of its previous generation FastConnect 7800 Wi-Fi 7 solution, with over 400+ devices in market that have the technology on board, from smartphones to Wi-Fi access points. He also noted that the Wi-Fi 7 ramp is going to be faster than the previous generation Wi-Fi 6. And so it seems, with FastConnect 7900 on track for commercial launch in the second half of this year, Qualcomm is doing its part to usher in Wi-Fi-7 much sooner than later.

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