On February 21, Qualcomm announced the first Atheros WCN3998 802.11a Wi-Fi solution for smartphones and PC products. Back in February 2017. The manufacturer introduced the IPQ8074, a 14nm process SoC. But it has been focusing on the high-end products, while the WCN3998 comes as an open consumer-grade channel.
The manufacturer has also announced the WCN3998 doubles the network speed, while the power consumption reduced by 67%. According to the IEEE roadmap, 802.11ax is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi standard after 802.11ac widely used in many products. Moreover, they have achieved for the integration of 2.4GHz and 5GHz for the first time. Now, the maximum speed of 5GHz is 4.8Gbps.
Qualcomm also emphasizes that with the new OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and MU-MIMO (Multi-User Input Output) 802.11ax will greatly enhance the stability and number threshold for multi-device coexistence.
As for the rest of features, the WCN3998 chip integrates the latest Bluetooth 5.1 technology (up to 75% reduction of power consumption) and support for WPA3 encryption.
Its partners will carry out research and development work in the coming months. So the first devices with this chip onboard will debut at the end of 2018.
Not surprisingly, the WCN3998 is expected to be integrated into the Snapdragon 855. This is going to be the successor of the Snapdragon 845. But unlike the latter, it will run on a 7nm technology. Plus, the SND855 will come with the latest X24 LTE modem providing up to 2Gbps X24 LTE downlink. The first smartphones with this chip are expected to be the next-gen Samsung Galaxy S and Xiaomi Mi 8.