Intel’s Latest Announcement: Wi-Fi 7 Support Now Coming to Both Windows 10 and Windows 11
Last month, a document surfaced on the internet, suggesting that Intel and Microsoft might limit Wi-Fi 7 support to Windows 11 and newer operating systems. This document, a product specification sheet, included Windows 11, Linux, and ChromeOS in its list of supported operating systems. This led to speculation that Windows 10 might not receive support for the latest Wi-Fi standard.
However, recent developments indicate that this won’t be the case. Intel has now confirmed that Wi-Fi 7 support will be extended to Windows 10 as well. Although the company didn’t issue an official statement on this matter, two of its Wi-Fi 7 module specifications, the Intel® Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and the Intel® Wi-Fi 7 BE202 (codenamed Intel’s Gale Peak 2 and Misty Peak, respectively), have been listed on its ark.intel website. Notably, both of these devices are listed as supporting Windows 10, in addition to Windows 11 and Linux. Interestingly, ChromeOS support is conspicuously absent this time.
For those wondering about the benefits of Wi-Fi 7, the answer lies in significantly faster speeds. Wi-Fi 7 offers speeds up to 2.4 times faster than Wi-Fi 6E and approximately 4.8 times faster than Wi-Fi 6. While the maximum theoretical data rate for Wi-Fi 6 is around 9.6 Gbps, Wi-Fi 7 boasts an impressive 46.1 Gbps, along with twice the bandwidth (320 MHz channels compared to 160 MHz channels in Wi-Fi 6). Wi-Fi 7 relies on the IEEE P802.11be standard, which promises extremely high throughput (EHT) and considerably lower latencies.
The Gale Peak 2, succeeding Intel’s Harrison Peak 2 (Wi-Fi 6), and Garfield Peak (Wi-Fi 6E), maintains the same form factor for Wi-Fi 7 modules, with M.2 2230 and 1216 options.
For a clearer understanding, here’s a comparison between Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6/6E, and Wi-Fi 5:
|Wi-Fi Standard||Max Theoretical Data Rate||Channel Width||Notable Features|
|Wi-Fi 7||46.1 Gbps||320 MHz||IEEE P802.11be EHT, Low Latency|
|Wi-Fi 6/6E||~9.6 Gbps||160 MHz||MU-MIMO, OFDMA, 1024-QAM|
|Wi-Fi 5||3.5 Gbps||80 MHz||802.11ac, Beamforming|
Wi-Fi 7 represents a significant leap in wireless technology, promising blazing-fast speeds and improved performance for future devices.
|Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)||Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)||Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be)|
|Frequency||5GHz||Dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)||Tri-band (2.4, 5, 6 GHz)|
|20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160MHz||20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160, 320MHz|
|Modulation||254QAM||1024QAM||4096 (4K) QAM|
|Antenna||DL MU-MIMO (4 x 4)||DL + UL MU-MIMO (8 x 8)|
|Key Innovations||40MHz mandatory||TWT, BSS coloring, Beamforming||Multi Link Operation (MLO),
In terms of actual product availability, Twitter (now X) user momomo_us spotted the BE200 on the Gigabyte Aorus Master X Z790 motherboard with the v1.2 PCB revision.