What you need to know
- A feature called Wi-Fi Dual Station improves Wi-Fi connectivity to compete with the stability of an ethernet connection.
- The feature can connect to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands simultaneously to reduce latency and jittering.
- Windows 11 supports Wi-Fi Dual Station, allowing PC makers to utilize the feature.
- Acer and Lenovo will release devices that support Wi-Fi Dual Station.
Qualcomm is working to make Wi-Fi connectivity as good as an ethernet connection for gaming. A Windows 11 feature called Wi-Fi Dual Station will help reduce latency and jittering when connected through Wi-Fi. Windows 11 PCs with Qualcomm FastConnect will be able to use Wi-Fi Dual Station to connect to multiple Wi-Fi bands and antennas concurrently.
Wi-Fi Dual Station uses the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. It can also work with the 6GHz band where available. This setup reduces latency and jittering. To take advantage of Wi-Fi Dual Station, you'll need a PC with FastConnect that supports Wi-Fi 6 and 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous technology. A Wi-Fi 6 router is also required.
"Microsoft is pleased to bring 'Wi-Fi Dual Station' to the Windows 11 ecosystem, enabling our Windows OEMs and ecosystem leaders to deliver low-latency performance on the latest Wi-Fi hardware," said Ian LeGrow, vice president, program management for windows platforms and services, Microsoft. "Games and other latency-sensitive applications can now leverage two concurrent Wi-Fi connections providing best-in-class user experiences."
Valve has already added initial support for Wi-Fi Dual Station to the Steamworks SDK. "This includes Valve's popular online titles Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), which will now benefit from the improved and sustained responsiveness when played on a Windows 11 gaming device with supporting FastConnect connectivity systems," says Qualcomm.
In testing, Qualcomm found four times lower latency and sustained jitter-free gameplay when utilizing Wi-Fi Dual Station compared to Single Station Wi-Fi.
Lenovo and Acer will both support Wi-Fi Dual Station in future devices. "Lenovo is committed to delivering game-changing technology solutions and we look forward to harnessing these next gen features for a better customer experience in the future," said Luis Hernandez, vice president, PC and Smart Solutions Development, Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group.
"Acer's new gaming notebooks that feature FastConnect 6900 connectivity will provide ethernet-grade Wi-Fi," said James Lin, general manager, notebooks, IT products business, Acer. "With responsiveness offered by the Qualcomm 4-stream Dual Band Simultaneous, gamers will be able to enjoy a low-latency gaming experience without the wires."
AMD also plans to utilize the technology on enterprise platforms. "We are excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies to deliver best-in-class connectivity solutions on AMD enterprise platforms," said Jason Banta, corporate vice president and general manager, client OEM, AMD.
If Wi-Fi Dual Station delivers, it will allow gamers to move their gaming laptops away from Ethernet cables.
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