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Intel Releases Computer-based Client Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and BE202 Chipsets

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Earlier this week, on September 18, 2023, Intel quietly made available the specs for the all-new Intel Wi-Fi 7 Series chipsets that include two variants named BE200 and BE202. There were no news events or press releases; I accidentally stumbled on these product pages.

Unlike other Wi-Fi 7 products you've heard, including those I've recently covered, these chips are made for the receiving end. Specifically, they will be integrated into motherboards so that future computers -- laptops and desktops -- will have Wi-Fi 7 capability built-in.

And that's when Wi-Fi 7 becomes a real reality.

One Plus 11 5G Phone first Wi-Fi 7 Client before Intel Wi-Fi 7 chips are available
Currently, Wi-Fi 7 clients are all smartphones, such as this One Plus 11 5G being the first on the market.

Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and BE202: The other end of the Wi-Fi 7 equation

So far, all Wi-Fi 7 clients have been smartphones. While that's great, it's impossible to see the standard's true potential since handheld devices generally require modest bandwidth.

Intel's new chips will likely be the first made-for-computer to become available -- an easy educated guess considering the case of the previous Intel AX210 and its variants, which have been the mainstay for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E devices.

It's worth noting that currently, the Wi-Fi 7 standard (IEEE 802.11be) is not yet ratified, which is expected to happen sometime in 2024. And these new Intel BE chips are released as Pre-Certified. Likely, they will support the final stats of the standard via driver or firmware updates.

Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 vs BE202: Specification

According to Intel, these two chips are identical in physical design and most other specs. The BE200, however, supports the 320MHz channel width to deliver up to 5Gbps connection speed, whereas the BE202 only supports 160MHz and will have half of the bandwidth.

Like all things Wi-Fi, their sustained real-world standard will be significantly slower, depending on the environment, distance, and the broadcaster.

Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE202
Product FamilyIntel Wi-Fi 7 SeriesIntel Wi-Fi 7 Series
From FactorM.2 2230 or M.2 1216M.2 2230 or M.2 1216
InterfacesM.2: PCIe, USBM.2: PCIe, USB
Weight
(in grams)
M.2 2230: 3.07+/-0.15G
M.2 1216: 0.75+/-0.04G
M.2 2230: 3.07+/-0.15G
M.2 1216: 0.75+/-0.04G
Operating Temperature Range0 Β°C to 80 Β°C
(32 Β°F to 176 Β°F)
0 Β°C to 80 Β°C
(32 Β°F to 176 Β°F)
Wi-Fi Stream
(Antenna)
Dual-stream (2x2)Dual-stream (2x2)
Wi-Fi Bands
(channel width)
2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Max Speed
(up to)
5Gbps
(6GHz @ 320MHz)
2.5Gbps
(6GHz @160MHz)
Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDWi-Fi 7 Pre-certifiedWi-Fi 7 Pre-certified
ComplianceFIPSFIPS
MU-MIMOYesYes
Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) YesYes
Intel Smart Connect Technology NoNo
Intel vPro TechnologyYesYes
Platform SupportWindows 11, Windows 10, LinuxWindows 11, Windows 10, Linux
Launch DateQ3'23Q3'23
Hardware specifications: Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 vs BE202 chipsets.

The fact these chips are both dual-stream suggests 5Gbps is likely the max ceiling speed we can get from a Wi-Fi 7 connection, similar to the fact that 2.4Gbps has been the fast real-world connection of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, despite the standards' much higher bandwidths.

It's unclear if any of these two will support special features of Wi-Fi 7, including Multi-Link Operation, where the 5GHz and 6GHz bands are combined into a single link. But that needs to wait until the standard is certified.

Availability

The new Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 vs BE202 chipsets will be integrated into some motherboards for Intel's 13th generation CPU, such as Gigabyte's upcoming Z790 AORUS MASTER X, and most motherboard featuring Intel's upcoming 14th Gen CPU.

Likely, you'll also be able to buy these chips as standalone adapters to add to select existing computers, like the case of Intel 200/210 Wi-Fi 6 and 6E chips. Eventually, there will also be USB-based adapters like the Netgear A8000, which is an easy way to add Wi-Fi 6E to a computer.

TP Link Deco BE85 Wi Fi 7 Mesh System has big power adapters
Without computer-based clients, Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters, like this TP-Link Deco BE85, have little to show.

The takeaway

It's safe to say 2023 is the year of Wi-Fi 7. If not already, you'll soon get tired of hearing about new Wi-Fi 7 routers, mesh systems, or gateways -- all with heavy dosages of superlatives on their bandwidth and capacities.

Truth be told, these Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters don't mean much by themselves. Like a tango, a Wi-Fi connection takes two. And that makes these Intel Wi-Fi 7 chipsets the most significant to date. They complete the Wi-Fi 7 experience. At this rate, Wi-Fi 7 is on track to be adopted the fastest compared to previous Wi-Fi revisions, and it makes Wi-Fi 6E a short stop-gap bridge between it and Wi-Fi 6.

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9 thoughts on “Intel Releases Computer-based Client Wi-Fi 7 BE200 and BE202 Chipsets”

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  1. It’s my understanding that these will not work with AMD motherboards. Will there be another option for this? Also, will there be some other option for A+E key?

    Reply
  2. The BE200 is on eBay or AliExpress, shipped from China. The ASUS RT-BE96U is listed on Amazon.com at the moment also.

    Reply
  3. So essentially the same redundant circle, new wi-fi but no clients and when clients adopt it we will have wi-fi 8 or 9. Apple is just now adopting wi-fi 6e as are other companies. Seems to be just another way to get people to spend money trying to keep systems on the cutting edge.

    Reply

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