Rejoice! Intel confirms Wi-Fi 7 support in Windows 11 and in Windows 10 too

A Windows 10 wallpaper with a thumbs up emoji

Last month, a document had surfaced on the internet which suggested that Intel and Microsoft could be limiting Wi-Fi 7 support to Windows 11 and newer. This document was a product specification sheet that mentioned Windows 11, Linux, and ChromeOS in the supported operating systems list, which led us to speculate that Windows 10 may not be supporting the newest Wi-Fi standard.

However, that is not going to be the case it seems as Intel has now confirmed Wi-Fi 7 support will be coming to Windows 10 as well. Although the company did not make any official explicit statement regarding this, the firm has listed two of its Wi-Fi 7 module specs on its ark.intel website: the IntelĀ® Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and the IntelĀ® Wi-Fi 7 BE202, codenamed Intel's Gale Peak 2 and Misty Peak. Both of the devices are featuring Windows 10 support alongside Windows 11 and Linux. Interestingly, there is no mention of ChromeOS this time.

In case you are wondering what Wi-Fi 7 will bring to the table, the easiest way to answer that is faster speeds, up to 2.4 times compared to Wi-Fi 6E and around 4.8 times compared to Wi-Fi 6. The max theoretical data rate for Wi-Fi 6 is ~9.6 Gbps while that for Wi-Fi 7 is around 46.1 Gbps, and twice the bandwidth (320 MHz channels vs. 160 MHz channels for Wi-Fi 6). It will rely on the IEEE P802.11be standard, which is said to enable extremely high throughput (EHT) and much lower latencies. Gale Peak 2 succeeds Intel's Harrison Peak 2 (Wi-Fi 6) and Garfield Peak (Wi-Fi 6E). The form factor remains the same for these Wi-Fi 7 modules with M.2 2230 and 1216.

The table below shows the comparison between the new Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6/6E, and Wi-Fi 5.

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)

Bandwidth

(Channels)

20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160MHz

20, 40 , 80, 80+80, 160, 320MHz

Access

(Multiplexing)

OFDM

OFDMA

Modulation

254QAM

1024QAM

4096 (4K) QAM

Antenna

DL MU-MIMO (4 x 4)

DL + UL MU-MIMO (8 x 8)

Security

WPA2

WPA3

WPA4 (TBD)

Key Innovations

40MHz mandatory

TWT, BSS coloring, Beamforming

Multi Link Operation (MLO),
Multi-RU, Puncturing

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.

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