IC inspection labs start fulfilling orders for Wi-Fi 7 SoCs

Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


A leading chipmaker has kicked off its next-generation Wi-Fi SoC inspection and is expected to launch related module products as early as the fourth quarter of 2022, according to sources from IC inspection labs.

Many first-tier IC designers and IDMs including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Broadcom and Intel are all actively proceeding with the development of Wi-Fi 7 SoCs, providing lucrative business opportunities for IC inspection labs including Sporton International, BTL, Audix and Integrated Service Technology. (iST), the sources said.

For the inspection labs, Wi-Fi 7 SoC testing and inspection orders will bring them high profits, because highly complicated designs of the next-generation chips require increasingly sophisticated testing technology and much longer testing time, the sources continued.

The speed and data throughput of Wi-Fi 7 SoCs almost double those of Wi-Fi 6/6E solutions despite both featuring tri-band designs, and therefore it remains to be seen whether Wi-Fi 6/6E will be just transitional offerings amid the prospect that Wi-Fi 7 solutions may be commercialized earlier than originally expected, the sources indicated. Wi-Fi 6/6E SoCs are emerging as mainstream wireless communication solutions for new notebooks and routers in 2022, the sources added.

Among major chipmakers, Intel is expected to focus the application of its Wi-Fi 7 solutions on notebooks and desktops, while AMD and MediaTek are also teaming up to develop Wi-Fi 6E/7 core chips also for notebooks and desktops, indciating PCs will be a major application outlet for Wi-Fi 7 chips, the sources added.