WBA, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco and Intel unveil Wi-Fi 6/6E features for Industry 4.0

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The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) released Wi-Fi 6/6E for Industrial IoT: Enable Wi-Fi Determinism in an IoT World.

This paper explores how the latest Wi-Fi features are ideal for meeting the high demands of a wide variety of existing and emerging IIoT applications. This includes manufacturing/industry 4.0 and logistics, involving autonomous mobile robots (AMR), automated ground vehicles (AGV), predictive maintenance and augmented/virtual/mixed reality (AR/VR/MR).

For example, manufacturers are increasingly using IIoT sensors for lubricant vibration, temperature, and viscosity to detect emerging equipment issues before they lead to costly and prolonged downtime. Other IIoT sensors provide real-time information on production, inventory levels, and asset locations. Wireless has become the preferred way to network these sensors because it is faster and cheaper to deploy than copper or fiber.


“As more and more equipment is monitored, cabling becomes prohibitively expensive,” the newspaper said. “The industry is moving towards the inclusion of wireless technologies to reduce the cost of obtaining more information about their processes. In a recent case in the oil and gas industry, switching to a wireless installation resulted in a 75% reduction in installation costs. »

Produced by the WBA’s Wi-Fi 6/6E for IIOT Task Force, led by Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel, the white paper provides an overview of ideal Wi-Fi 6 and 6E capabilities for sensors and other IIoT applications, as :

Programmed access (SA) enabled by uplink (UL) orthogonal frequency domain multiple access (OFDMA) based triggering (TB) in Wi-Fi 6 helps reduce or eliminate contention and related latency (eg, 99 percentiles). This leads to increased levels of determinism applicable to all real-time and IIOT applications.

· Wi-Fi 6 offers many deterministic QoS features, such as traffic prioritization which is a key element of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) for Industry 4.0 applications. Another example is multi-link operation (MLO), a capability that helps provide high reliability for applications that cannot tolerate any packet loss.

The Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) protocol specified in the IEEE 802.11-2016 standard enables both time synchronization, but also precise determination of inner range and position/location. This can be used for Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) and Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) applications such as route planning, exception handling and safety related aspects including collision avoidance based on proximity. This capability does not require additional Wi-Fi infrastructure, so manufacturers can implement it immediately, for example as part of their Industry 4.0 migration.

· Target Wake Time (TWT) function added to Wi-Fi 6 provides more efficient power saving and scheduling enhancement. This capability is ideal for battery-powered IIoT nodes that only need to transmit infrequently, such as a sensor that only uploads data when a motor’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold.

Wi-Fi 6E supports up to 1.2 GHz of spectrum, making it ideal for use cases that require both multi-Gb/s throughput and determinism, such as AR /VR/MR and sensor fusion.

The 52-page report also includes RF/network deployment guidelines for factory, warehouse, logistics, and other use cases. For example, it provides recommendations for leveraging 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6 scheduling capabilities to optimize traffic patterns and manage critical QoS requirements. Another example is to use high gain directional antennas to increase channel reuse rates and bypass metal brackets and other signal attenuation features commonly found in wartime.houses.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance
Wi-Fi has been a key enabler of the global IIOT market, which is on track to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 23% between 2017 and 2023. Wi-Fi 6 and 6E extend the capabilities by providing the multi-Gb/s data rates, additional spectrum, deterministic performance, and other advanced capabilities needed to support demanding applications such as Industry 4.0.


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