Wi-Fi 7 Multi-Link Operation

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  • Author: Alvin Hsu

The IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT) task group is currently developing the next generation Wi-Fi standard to achieve higher data rate, lower latency, and more reliable connection to enhance user experience. The final version of the IEEE 802.11be specification is expected to be published by late 2023, and ratified in mid-2024. In the meanwhile, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) has kicked off associated development toward Wi-Fi 7 certification based on the IEEE 802.11be draft specification.

One of the key features of Wi-Fi 7 is Multi-Link Operation (MLO). As most current APs and stations incorporate dual-band or tri-band capabilities, the newly developed MLO feature enables packet-level link aggregation in the MAC layer across different PHY links. By performing load balancing according to traffic requirements, MLO achieves significantly higher throughput and lower latency for enhanced reliability in a heavily loaded network.

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