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Wi-Fi 6

Key Features

Stephen Cooper
Senior Systems Engineer – ANZ
@Stephen__Cooper

December 6, 2019 | Sydney, Australia 1


What’s On Tap For The Next 30 Minutes?

§ How did we get to Wi-Fi 6?

§ OFDMA

§ MU-MIMO

§ 1024QAM

§ BSS Coloring

§ Target Wait Time

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Terminology

§ 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6?
§ Can be used interchangeably
§ Technically Wi-Fi 6 is the WFA certification based on 802.11ax technology

PHY IEEE Amendment Wi-Fi Alliance

High Efficiency (HE) 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6

Very High Throughput (VHT) 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5

High Throughput (HT) 802.11n Wi-Fi 4

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History of 802.11

Year Data Rate Band Modulation MIMO Modulation Channel


Max Width
802.11b 1999 11 Mbps 2.4 HR-DSSS n/a CCK 22 MHz

802.11a/g 1999/2003 54 Mbps 5/2.4 OFDM n/a 64QAM 20 MHz

802.11n 2009 600 Mbps 2.4, 5 OFDM SU 4SS (3SS) 64QAM 40 MHz

802.11ac 2013 6.9 Gbps 5 OFDM MU 8SS (4SS) 256QAM 160 MHz*

802.11ax 2019 (est.) 9.6 Gbps 2.4, 5 OFDMA MU 8SS 1024QAM 160 MHz*

§ The trend has always been to increase max speed.

§ Main goal of 802.11ax is to increase efficiency and decrease latency

*160 MHz not typically used in most real-world deployments due to limited channel re-use
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The Problem

§ Wi-Fi has a scale problem

Aggregate Throughput Per Client Throughput


900 900
800 800
700
Throughput (Mbps)

700

Throughput (Mbps)
600 600
500 500
400 400
300 300
200 200
100 100
0 0
1 10 25 50 100 1 10 25 50 100
Clients Clients

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Wi-Fi Today

Traffic jams!
802.11ax
Free-flowing traffic!
OFDM and OFDMA

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https://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/files/802-11ax-transforming-wi-fi-to-bring-unprecedented-capacity-efficiency.pdf
Subcarriers – What’s new?

OFDM - Wi-Fi 4, 5

Subcarrier # Symbol
Width Subcarriers Duration
312.5 kHz 64 3.2 µs

f X X
4 4 4
78.125 kHz 256 12.8 µs

… OFDMA - Wi-Fi 6
f

http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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OFDM vs OFDMA – Multi-user Frame Delivery

OFDM - Wi-Fi 4, 5 OFDMA – Wi-Fi 6


Bandwidth Bandwidth

Time Time

§ OFDM – reserves full channel bandwidth § OFDMA – can utilise full channel bandwidth with
regardless of payload size/type multiple payload types and sizes for multiple users
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OFDMA Resource Units – 20 MHz

Up to 9 users for 20 MHz


26 26 26 26 13 13 26 26 26 26

52 52 52 52

106 106 Min. RU for MU-MIMO

242

26 SC = 2 MHz, 52 = 4 MHz, 106 = 8 MHz, 242 = 20 MHz

Good for ~ 375 kbps


http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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OFDMA Resource Units – 40 MHz
Up to 18 users for 40 MHz

26 26 26 26 13 13 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 13 13 26 26 26 26

52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52

106 106 106 106

242 242

26 SC = 2 MHz, 52 = 4 MHz, 106 = 8 MHz, 242 = 20 MHz

http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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OFDMA Resource Units & Users

RUs 20 MHz 40 MHz 80 MHz 160 / 80+80 MHz

996 x2 - - 1 user 1 user

996 - - 1 user 2 users

484 - 1 user 2 users 4 users

242 1 users 2 users 4 users 8 users

106 2 users 4 users 8 users 16 users

52 4 users 8 users 16 users 32 users

26 9 users 18 users 37 users 74 users

§ Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 – validation for up to four RUs


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OFDM Waveform

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OFDMA Waveform

106 RUs 106 RUs

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OFDMA Waveform

242 RUs 242 RUs

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OFDMA Operations

§ Legacy contention still applies to win TXOP

§ MU-RTS transmitted using OFDM so legacy clients can understand it

§ AP determines allocation of RUs for UL or DL for every TXOP

§ Trigger frames – for each user: specify RUs/tones, subcarriers, MCS, spatial streams, UL target RSSI

http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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OFDMA Trigger Frame

Wireshark filter = wlan.fc eq 0x2400

4x OFDMA Users

RUs Allocated

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OFDMA Operations (cont.)

§ Within a transmission some RUs can be SISO some can be MIMO

§ Users send Buffer Status Report (BSR) to advise of payload for UL-OFDMA

§ AP determines SS/Tx Power/MCS – UL target RSSI instructs client which Tx power to use!

§ Operating Mode Indication (OMI) – client can opt-out of MU, and even request change to
RU/BW/SS

§ UL-OFDMA Random Access (UORA) – dedicated RUs for unscheduled UL transmissions

§ OFDMA Back Off (OBO) – used by clients wanting to transmit via UORA
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OFDMA (Frequency Multiplexing) and
MU-MIMO (Spatial Multiplexing)

§ OFDMA splits the channel into smaller chunks (RUs)

§ MU-MIMO divides spatial streams among users

§ Any RU 106 or bigger can split 8SS between users

OFDMA MU-MIMO

Stationary or roaming users Groups of spatially-diverse


stationary users
High density Low density

Lower latency Higher SNR/MCS

Smaller frames Larger frames

Reduces overhead Increases Overhead

Ideal: many Wi-Fi 6 clients Ideal: PtP/PtMP Wi-Fi 6 bridges

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https://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/files/802-11ax-transforming-wi-fi-to-bring-unprecedented-capacity-efficiency.pdf
1024QAM = New Data Rates
MCS Modulation 802.11ax 802.11ac
(1SS 20 MHz 800 ns GI) (1SS 20 MHz 400 ns GI)

§ 802.11ax data rates are about 1.2x 0 BPSK 1/2 8.6 7.2
faster than 802.11ac
1 QPSK 1/2 17.2 14.4
§ Higher SNR required 2 QPSK 3/4 25.8 21.7

§ Different subcarrier spacing, new 3 16-QAM 1/2 34.4 28.9


guard intervals 4 16-QAM 3/4 51.6 43.3
§ 11n/ac – 312.5 kHz
5 64-QAM 1/2 68.6 57.8
§ 11ax – 78.128 kHz
6 64-QAM 3/4 77.4 65
§ Guard Interval – 3200 ns down to
800 ns 7 64-QAM 5/6 86 72.2

8 256-QAM 3/4 103.2 86.7

9 256-QAM 5/6 114.7 n/a

10 1024-QAM 3/4 129 n/a


https://www.semfionetworks.com/blog/mcs-table-
updated-with-80211ax-data-rates 11 1024-QAM 5/6 143.4 n/a

* 1SS 160 MHz 800 ns GI = 1.2 Gbps 20


1024-QAM
256-QAM (-68 dBm)
MCS Modulation 20 MHz – 1SS
1024-QAM (-60 dBm) 256-QAM vs. 1024-QAM
0 BPSK 1/2 8.6

1 QPSK 1/2 17.2

2 QPSK 3/4 25.8

3 16-QAM 1/2 34.4

4 16-QAM 3/4 51.6

5 64-QAM 1/2 68.6

6 64-QAM 3/4 77.4

7 64-QAM 5/6 86

8 256-QAM 3/4 103.2

9 256-QAM 5/6 114.7

10 1024-QAM 3/4 129

11 1024-QAM 5/6 143.4


256-QAM = 8 Bits per Symbol
25% 21

1024-QAM = 10 Bits per Symbol


Listen Before Talk - Wi-Fi is too darn polite

CCA

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BSS Color Diagram

100 44
36
Intra-BSS frame
transmission
Inter-BSS frame
(space reuse)
36 44
100 23
Spatial Reuse - BSS Coloring

§ Clients will maintain a 2nd


NAV timer
§ Concept of OBSS vs
MYBSS
§ AP can instruct STA to
reduce Tx power for UL

http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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Target Wake Time (TWT)
§ First introduced in 802.11ah
§ Radio wake-up no longer tied to beacon/DTIM interval

http://www.ni.com/en-us/innovations/white-papers/16/introduction-to-802-11ax-high-efficiency-wireless.html

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Wi-Fi 6 Clients (November 2019)

Samsung S10/e/+ Intel AX200 iPhone 11/Pro/Max Surface Pro 7/Laptop 3 Dell XPS 13
(2x2) (2x2) (2x2) (2x2) (2x2)

Wi-Fi 6 CERTIFIED clients/APs/chipsets: http://bit.ly/wifi6clients 27


How to Check Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi Analyzer

PCAP
Your Device!

Mist Dashboard!

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Thank you!

https://ai.mist.com/wi-fi-6-smart-guide/

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