By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
The market for high-end gaming connectivity is quickly becoming one of the Wi-Fi industry’s most lucrative and most hotly contested. Wi-Fi chipset leader Intel is now incorporating ‘Killer’ Wi-Fi prioritisation and multi-network connectivity technology – acquired through Intel’s purchase of Rivet Networks in May of last year – into its family of Wi-Fi chipsets for PCs. The ‘Intel Killer’ Wi-Fi chipset family delivers 60-70% lower latency for online gaming even during heavy Wi-Fi contention and multiple concurrent streams of non-gaming traffic, Intel says.
The battle for the sentiments of the online PC gamer is heating up: Multiple Wi-Fi chipset vendors are working hard to introduce technology that will finally lay to rest what hardline gamers loathe more than anything else, namely latency and jitter that wrecks the breadth-of-a-hair responsiveness required for competitive gaming. Intel’s recently introduced ‘Killer’ family of Wi-Fi 6E chips delivers a big reduction in latency and jitter by application of a sophisticated Wi-Fi traffic packet prioritisation engine – and more.
“Wi-Fi is a real differentiator for vendors of gaming notebooks, and our Killer platform delivers not just speed but the connection stability that gamers want. For example: Using the Intel Killer™ prioritisation engine, test show we’re able to reduce latency for example for a game such as Fortnite from 158 to 47 milliseconds (pings) – even with substantial simultaneous traffic running in the background,” says Bob Grim, Director Wireless Connectivity Group at Intel. Intel’s Killer Wi-Fi 6E feature technology was acquired through Intel’s purchase of Rivet Networks in May of 2020.
Intel says that Killer prioritisation also reduces latency by more than 90% in the case of Zoom video calls and more often than not completely does away with frame freezes during video streaming.
Intel’s Killer solution comprises three components: A Wi-Fi traffic packet prioritisation engine that identifies thousands of games, applications, and websites, and prioritises gaming packets – without dropping them – for better throughput and lower latency. The second component is an intelligence engine that analyses best available networks and wireless bands, then dynamically moves the connection to the best wireless band within the same SSID – or alternatively suggests a better a better SSID on a different AP, Intel says. All of this can be viewed and managed on a Killer dashboard (see above).
Intel® Double Connect Technology for more stability
For several years a third component – the Killer™ Double Shot Pro feature – has enabled gamers to use both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity to allow a single application – for example a game – to use both Ethernet and Wi-Fi at the same time while allocating (prioritising) gaming traffic to the fastest available path. The DoubleShot Pro feature however does require that Intel Killer gigabit Ethernet chips are incorporated into the PC product.
Intel’s Killer technology has since the end of last year been available in the form of the 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi 6E-capable AX1675 version – which delivers speeds approaching 2 Gbps – as well as the Wi-Fi 6-capable AX1650 version.
Now here comes more great technology for Wi-Fi users to get excited about: New Intel ‘Double Connect Technology’ is now included in Intel’s top-of-the-line Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi 6E chip. Double Connect Technology allows a notebook PC equipped with a Killer wireless card to connect to Wi-Fi using two radios simultaneously operating on the 2.4 GHz and either the 5 GHz or 6 GHz band, respectively.
The AX1690 – the newest of the Killer 2×2 MIMO products – delivers nearly 3 Gbps of theoretical peak Wi-Fi link speeds to the device. The high throughput rate comes in handy for example for speeding up massive game file downloads, Intel says.
Meanwhile the two simultaneous connections provide even better connection stability and low-latency performance. “Intel Double Connect Technology for example allows gaming traffic to run over 6 GHz or 5 GHz while relegating all other applications to 2.4 GHz. And of course several more 160 MHz channels are available on the 6 GHz band,” says Bob Grim.