Thursday, June 20, 2019
Home Tech A Wi-Fi 6 chip based on Intel

A Wi-Fi 6 chip based on Intel

One of the main criticisms of the killer network hardware was the reliability of the hardware and drivers. For the last-generation product, the company has eliminated it by working with Intel, Intel hardware, and the Intel driver stack. Intel's part of the deal was to capture the killer team's hardware and IP to enable killer features: advanced stream detection, killer intelligence engine, and prioritization. This launch is again in cooperation with Intel for the Wi-Fi 6-capable AX1650 chip, which is available for integration into devices or as an M.2 module.

Killer and Intel: A "killer" combination for Wi-Fi 6

Intel recently introduced its Wi-Fi 6 module, the AX200. The Rivet Networks Killer AX1650 is a further development of this card and supports the same features: Up to 2.4 Gbit / s theoretical throughput with 2×2 connection – better latency in multi-user scenarios, longer battery life in mobile devices and common base driver stack. The AX1650 killer promises to actually bring the Intel module to market, and will ship in April in Alienware devices.

Wi-Fi 6 as standard offers most of these benefits – up to 40% better performance over 802.11ac, increased throughput in dense environments, and a better race-to-sleep environment. The added value for the killer version lies in its service quality, which goes beyond the solutions offered by Intel.

A quick look back at the killer: a new murderer

The company behind the killer Rivet Networks product line was spun off Qualcomm's Atheros business in 2014 and has since assembled its latest technology, with the partner offering the best combination of features. This has been Intel for its Wi-Fi modules since 2017, and this partnership is now in its second round. As mentioned earlier, Intel is incorporating what Rivet needs into its base chip, and this chip is sold both as an Intel solution and as a killer solution, with the extra features enabled, but the same hardware underneath and the same basic driver stack, as well as additional ones Optimizations on the killer side.

These enhancements enable the killer product to do several things that the Intel version can not do: it uses algorithms to recognize the types of network traffic (streaming, games, VoIP, video, downloads) from the traffic patterns, and calibrates the priority queue corresponding. Ensure that sensitive traffic with higher priority and latency leaves the system first. The software is automatically delivered with preprogrammed automatic priority white list software and users can adjust the priority on the fly. Rivet also conducts its own internal reviews every night to ensure that the Top 1000 applications continue to be properly recognized. By offloading the network discovery algorithms and the prioritization process to the hardware, one of the primary benefits of killer is the lower CPU usage compared to other pure software optimization solutions.

This means that the two main problems users have with the killer implementation are the hardware and drivers, the common backbone of Intel in common – without the killer software installed, the hardware works like the Intel solution.

Additional killer features

In addition to the hardware / software integration for Advanced Stream Detect, Rivet Networks has developed the company's offerings, all built with the underlying hardware as an acceleration point. One of these is the Killer Intelligence Engine, which contains a list of optimizations provided by the software to provide a cleaner network experience, as well as recommendations that the user can make.

These optimizations include, for example, the detection of low-priority video streams, or the traffic is preferably routed through various links based on reliability, latency, and bandwidth. In discussions with Rivet Networks, KIE has been an excellent tool for its customers in diagnosing network problems.

Another noteworthy feature is xTend, which allows users to use the Wi-Fi module connected to a Wi-Fi network while also sending it as an access point. It uses time slicing to manage the two, but if users need to expand their network (for example, in a restricted hotel room), the killer software can support it. For the AX1650, this means a complete Wi-Fi 6 access point that allows devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 to use the connectivity features of Wi-Fi 6.

For customers who want to integrate killer into a laptop or motherboard with multiple killer (Wi-Fi plus cable) connections, the package also enables Double Shot Pro, which allows the user to configure which pipe data to lower. where bandwidth has priority and latency for users who can use multiple connections or networks.

We have been in contact with Rivet Networks for several years. One of the key highlights in discussing with them is that they are not afraid of feedback – they get a lot of it, as you might imagine. The Rivet team has met with me several times over the years to discuss their hardware and software offerings, and I've seen the product line evolve over time. Some of my posts have made it into the final version. The team has a lot of positives and the sincere belief that there is a differentiating product that offers enthusiasts significant benefits for their gaming system. The Intel solution-based killer product is slightly more expensive than Intel, and if it were not, Rivet's partners would stop using the product generation. As an objectively neutral viewer, if I talk to all of Rivet's competitors in a similar way, I can understand where the killer product offerings offer this differentiation versus the competition and compared to the Intel solutions. OEMs such as Dell, Acer and MSI are in favor of their gaming portfolio and have been using the killer solution for several generations.

The killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 2×2

The first partner of Rivet Networks for the AX1650 is Dell Alienware, which will ship the new chip in April. In light of our discussions with providers at CES, it looks like the Computex show will become a hub for many new hardware in June. Therefore, we may expect additional announcements. For users who want to buy the AX1650 separately for their system, an associated M.2 module will be available on Amazon in due course.

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