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Qualcomm, Valve, AMD and more team up for Wi-Fi Dual Station

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Wi-Fi Dual Station is the name of what appears to be quite the leap for latency-sensitive gaming where a wired connection remains top but for how long? Probably forever but the gap is getting shorter.

Qualcomm together with Acer, AMD, Lenovo, Microsoft, Snapdragon Compute Platforms and Valve teamed up to enable this new tech that uses multiple Wi-FI bands and antennas concurrently. As they said in the press release "By simultaneously utilizing the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band (or 6 GHz where available), latency issues in one band can be easily resolved at a system-level both quickly and transparently to the end user".

Already supported on Steam from Valve with their Steamworks SDK but it's currently limited to Windows 11. As for Linux support? That remains to be seen. It probably won't be long before someone works on it.

Here's the thing though — we expect Valve at some point to come out with a wireless VR headset and there's been patents and leaks that give some good supporting evidence towards that (that we've covered in previous articles). A standalone set would no doubt run Linux too so this is likely part of Valve's plan.

"We’re seeing considerable reductions in jitter and packet loss with Wi-Fi Dual Station enabled, especially when the AP is heavily loaded," said Fletcher Dunn at Valve. "This is important for any online title, and especially beneficial for competitive online titles such as CS:GO and Dota 2. Games using the Steamworks SDK for networking will experience these same benefits with no added development time."

From what Valve developer Fletcher Dunn mentioned on Twitter in a short thread, some work on this will be added to their open source GameNetworkingSockets.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Meta
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11 comments
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Terrible naming. I thought this was a standalone product until I read the press release. Now I'm only about 50% sure that it's a software stack? I'm still actually not sure what they're talking about here.
mirv 6 Oct
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I used to work in a development area related to wifi and this news is to me surprising that it's actually news. I guess it's being explicitly enabled for gaming purposes? Probably just some wifi-6 features being wrapped up in nice marketing terms to convince everyone they need this, and to get ahead of the competitors (forcing them to be compliant to whatever wifi quirks Qualcomm have).
Liam Dawe 6 Oct
Quoting: GodofGruntsTerrible naming. I thought this was a standalone product until I read the press release. Now I'm only about 50% sure that it's a software stack? I'm still actually not sure what they're talking about here.
It's both hardware and software. It needs at least by the sounds of it FastConnect 6900, along with the OS/Drivers to actually support using it like this.
I use wifi keyboard and mouse and have no issues with latency. Then again I only play at 4k 60hz, no doubt at 144hz there maybe a noticeable difference.
MayeulC 7 Oct
Quoting: TheRiddickI use wifi keyboard and mouse and have no issues with latency. Then again I only play at 4k 60hz, no doubt at 144hz there maybe a noticeable difference.

Firstly, are you sure it's wifi and not some other wireless tech like bluetooth, 433MHz or other custom stuff?

One of the issues here is AP and band congestion. If wi-fi is being used a lot, latency-sensitive signals might have to wait for their turn, or for retransmission, since only one device can emit on a given band at a given time (a bit less true with beamforming and MIMO, but I trust the principle still applies).


Last edited by MayeulC on 7 October 2021 at 8:52 am UTC
Quoting: MayeulCFirstly, are you sure it's wifi and not some other

I meant to say Wireless, so yes I think mouse is bluetooth and keyboard 2.4? K800 keyboard and G604 mouse (logitech brands). Long battery life devices (1-3months)
Natanael 7 Oct
What I'm thinking is that the Steam Deck is probably going to be optimized for low latency wireless connections for online games (hopefully including for local multiplayer as well!). And of course other types of products also benefit, like wireless AR.
mirv 7 Oct
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Quoting: NatanaelWhat I'm thinking is that the Steam Deck is probably going to be optimized for low latency wireless connections for online games (hopefully including for local multiplayer as well!). And of course other types of products also benefit, like wireless AR.

This kind of thing won't help someone already with a good wifi connection. It's more about how to improve responsiveness in a congested environment (although I personally wonder how much worse it might end up making it if everyone tried this).
Lofty 7 Oct
Quoting: mirvProbably just some wifi-6 features being wrapped up in nice marketing terms to convince everyone they need this, and to get ahead of the competitors (forcing them to be compliant to whatever wifi quirks Qualcomm have).

Lets hope so. proprietary software/hardware that goes outside of industry standards (especially wireless transmitters) are usually horrible for everyone else that's on the (regulated) 802.11 standards.

But im sure it's fully compliant.
mirv 7 Oct
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Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: mirvProbably just some wifi-6 features being wrapped up in nice marketing terms to convince everyone they need this, and to get ahead of the competitors (forcing them to be compliant to whatever wifi quirks Qualcomm have).

Lets hope so. proprietary software/hardware that goes outside of industry standards (especially wireless transmitters) are usually horrible for everyone else that's on the (regulated) 802.11 standards.

But im sure it's fully compliant.

I assure you, 802.11 implementations and standards compliance are only very loosely connected. Some can't even get the beacon timestamps correct (oh wow were they ever so much fun to work with).
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