back to article Why Wi-Fi 6 and 6E will connect factories of the future

Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are being promoted as technologies for enabling industrial automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) thanks to features that provide more reliable communications and reduced costs compared with wired network alternatives, at least according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). The WBA’s Wi-Fi …

  1. sreynolds Silver badge

    Killer app

    Presuming that the problem is that the wiring of data ends up being a rats next of point to point connections, wouldn't a killer app be the power cable wrapper around a fiber cable. Sure you'd have to take smaller turns and termination would be a problem but then you have your own dedicated waveguide.

  2. sanmigueelbeer

    No, it won't.

    Why Wi-Fi 6 and 6E will connect factories of the future

    Not so fast, genius. Not going to happen because:

    1. Cost of WiFi6/6E WAP outstrips the "need to".

    2. The cost to install a LAN that can support WiFi6/6E WAP outstrips the "need to".

    3. Due to this ongoing "chip shortage", by the time any of the WiFi6/6E WAPs arrive, WiFi8 would have been ratified and ready to market.

  3. thames

    I tried to have a look at the actual report. The publicly available information is so vague as to be totally meaningless. Actual details are only available to members.

    The one example they did make at least vague reference to sounded like an oil tank farm. This is such a niche and atypical industrial application that it provides no guide to whether their concept has wider application in industry.

    There are existing wireless industrial applications, but they tend to be either things like remote access to installations that are scattered over a wide area (e.g. tank farms, water or petroleum well sites, etc.), or mobile applications (lift trucks in places such as warehouses, mine vehicles, etc.).

    Moving from what are often bespoke and proprietary wireless systems to some new industry standard may have some advantages, but it's far from a game changer in industry overall.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      From my experience, until I see a fully wireless car production line consisting of welding robots etc. I wouldn't bet on wireless communications.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (Private) 5G

    Seems like someone is realizing that WiFi is a dying technology and tries to milk the cow a little further.

  5. Crypto Monad Silver badge

    "Determinism (guaranteed reliability)"

    ...isn't something you can deliver in unregulated shared spectrum.

    Give me CAT5e any day, with guaranteed, dedicated gigabit full-duplex, and the ability to power the sensor using PoE as a bonus.

  6. Death Boffin

    Gbs capability for kbs data

    Speaking of restrictions, all of this is predicated on the availability of chipsets suitable for industrial use – think microcontrollers and that sort of thing – that actually support this generation of wireless communications.

    There seems to be a cognitive disconnect here. Why would a microcontroller need to support a multi-gigabit communications protocol? It would seem that they need a more reliable Bluetooth. Something I would welcome.

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