LG Innotek Develops the World's First Automotive Grade Wi-Fi 6E Module

LG Innotek has developed the world's first automotive-grade Wi-Fi 6E module. Wi-Fi 6E, is an updated version of Wi-Fi 6 that operates in the newly allocated 6 GHz frequency band. This breakthrough will allow LG Innotek to occupy a vantage position in the vehicle communication module market, which has been led by Japan until now.

Automotive Wi-Fi 6E modules are near-field wireless communication components connecting in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, which control driving information and multimedia content, to internal smart devices and external routers. With the next-generation Wi-Fi 6E (6th Generation Extended) technology, the module boasts data transmission speeds approximately 3 times faster than the existing Wi-Fi 5.

This product is a module that combines a communications chipset, a radio frequency (RF) circuit, and other supporting components. The module is mounted on multiple components of a vehicle, including the audio video navigation (AVN) system and smart antenna. A passenger can enjoy movies, games, and more on the in-vehicle display or audio system by wirelessly connecting it to a smartphone. The module also allows easier software updates of the automotive navigation system and such.

With the development of automatic driving technologies, vehicles have turned into spaces for entertainment and rest. This change led a fierce technological competition among component makers over the core component for in-vehicle infotainment: automotive Wi-Fi module. However, Wi-Fi 6E was not suitable for cars due to its limited communication performance caused by the compact vehicle interior.

Despite this challenge, LG Innotek has successfully developed the world's first Wi-Fi 6E module with advanced RF and antenna technology. The company has accumulated development capabilities in automotive communication for many years from 2005. Using this experience, LG Innotek has improved data transceiver performance by the new RF structure and antenna design with minimum communication interference. LG Innotek had continuously proved its advanced technologies in the market. The company previously launched the world's first 2nd Generation Automotive V2X Full Module, 5G Automotive Communication Module, and a brand-new Digital Key Module with improved accuracy and security.

Improved Communication Performance, Durability, and Applicability

With the automotive Wi-Fi 6E module, a passenger can enjoy high-definition movies or AR/VR games conveniently through the in-vehicle display. High-resolution videos often buffer while playing with the current Wi-Fi modules.

This new product has a data transmission speed of 1.2 Gbps, which is three times faster than the existing Wi-Fi 5 modules. It only takes 2 milliseconds to connect to the network, which is seven times faster than the current speed. This is why there is no buffering for high-resolution videos. Such an improvement in networking speed is possible because Wi-Fi 6E uses the 6 GHz band in addition to 2 GHz and 5 GHz bands; the higher the frequency, the larger the data transmitted. Also, the available bandwidth becomes twice as wide as that of 2 GHz or 5 GHz. Simply put, the data speed increases as the available volume and pathway of data grows.

The Wi-Fi 6E module also enables seamless internet use with multiple connections. The unique RF and antenna technologies prevent interference even in a compact space as a vehicle.

Also, this product is so highly durable that it can withstand temperature changes between -40 degrees and 85 degrees. The module is not easily deformed by the low temperature in winter, and it can endure the heat generated by data transmission. The new module is made to tolerate repeated shrinking and swelling by a larger synapse surface design.

High applicability is a plus. The automotive Wi-Fi 6E module has a small and slim form factor and is compatible with existing modules. For this module, LG Innotek put together more than 200 components including communications chipset and RF circuit in the one-sixth of a credit card size using the company's high-density/superfine modulization technology. Besides, it can be applied to existing devices without any design change as it is compatible with current Wi-Fi modules.

With its automotive Wi-Fi 6E module, LG Innotek plans to target the global automotive communications component market. The company tries to secure a leadership position in the market by catching up with Japanese companies that currently have a dominant share.

To do so, LG Innotek is executing promotional activities targeting global automotive components suppliers in North America, Europe, Japan, and China. The company expects to commercialize the product in 2022. It especially plans to do joint promotions with Germany's Infineon Technologies, which supplies Wi-Fi 6E automotive chipsets.

Sung-kug Kim, VP, and Head of the Automotive Components Business Unit said, "The importance of IVI for the next-generation mobility will grow further. Our automotive Wi-Fi 6E module will accelerate the evolution of IVI. LG Innotek will continue to provide the customers with innovative products enabling convenient, safe, and enjoyable driving experience."

According to Techno Systems Research (TSR), a global market research institute, the demands for automotive Wi-Fi communication modules will grow by 70%, from 51.2 million units in 2020 to 87.3 million units in 2025.