Monday, May 10th 2021

AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E WLAN Module Real, Debuts on AYANEO Handheld Consoles

AMD in 2020 set out on an ambitious project to develop Wi-Fi modules under its own marquee. This was catalyzed in part by the company's Ryzen PRO line of mobile processors, to better compete with Intel's Core vPro processors, which included Intel's own vPro-ready WLAN modules as part of a package to notebook OEMs. Come 2021, and AMD's module is ready, and is debuting with a handheld game console.

The new AMD RZ608 WLAN module is cutting-edge, in supporting Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax over 6 GHz) in addition to a plethora of older Wi-Fi standards; and Bluetooth 5.2. 6 months seem like an awfully short amount of time for AMD to whip up a WLAN product portfolio from scratch, especially with the IP tangles involved. The company instead chose to partner with MediaTek, which has access to all the IP needed to develop such a product. The WLAN PHY appears to be a MediaTek design, specifically based on the MT7921K chip. We'll hear a lot more about the RZ608, as it might start showing up in notebooks powered by Ryzen 5000 "Cezanne" processors. It remains to be seen if the chip makes it to desktop platforms, too.
Source: Anandtech
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19 Comments on AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E WLAN Module Real, Debuts on AYANEO Handheld Consoles

#1
TheLostSwede
I really hope, for AMD's sake, that they have full control over the firmware and drivers, as MTK suck at fixing driver issues.
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#2
R00kie
Anyone ever dealt with Mediatek's wireless before? It's the first time I ever hear about them making wifi kit.
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#3
TheLostSwede
gdallskAnyone ever dealt with Mediatek's wireless before? It's the first time I ever hear about them making wifi kit.
Really? Their chips are in at least 50% of the budget routers on the market. They've pretty much killed Realtek there.
They bough Ralink some years ago, so most of their WiFi products are based on their tech.
Biggest issue is, as I pointed out above, that they're slow as molasses when it comes to fixing driver bugs.
Took them three months to even acknowledge there was a bug in their driver when I company I worked for in the past contacted them about a fairly major issue. Not what you want when it's a product breaking bug.
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#4
xkm1948
I had a few mediatek based usb wifi dongle before. They work alright.
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#5
Dr_b_
There's a lot of tech intel has failed at recently, but networking tech isn't one of them
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#6
R00kie
TheLostSwedeReally? Their chips are in at least 50% of the budget routers on the market. They've pretty much killed Realtek there.
They bough Ralink some years ago, so most of their WiFi products are based on their tech.
Biggest issue is, as I pointed out above, that they're slow as molasses when it comes to fixing driver bugs.
Took them three months to even acknowledge there was a bug in their driver when I company I worked for in the past contacted them about a fairly major issue. Not what you want when it's a product breaking bug.
Yeah, well I don't tend to go for cheap stuff anyways :) which is why it was a surprise for me.
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#7
TheLostSwede
gdallskYeah, well I don't tend to go for cheap stuff anyways :) which is why it was a surprise for me.
It's not all bad. Lot's of MIPS based chips that work 24/7/365 if you just need a basic router.
Nothing fancy and not trying to be fancy either.
Expensive stuff can work a lot worse when it comes to routers, as it's gotten so complex that sometimes the chip makers can't even fix the problems without issuing a new hardware revision...
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#8
Turmania
When it comes to system stability, reliability and furthermore updates both in research and implementing that is where I question AMD over Intel.
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#10
TheDeeGee
I think Steve reviewed this, was very loud and hot, and has display issues.
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#11
n-ster
gdallskAnyone ever dealt with Mediatek's wireless before? It's the first time I ever hear about them making wifi kit.
Ubiquiti's Unifi NanoHD access point uses MediaTek (previously used Qualcomm and Broadcom once). Was buggy at first, but ended up being a great success IMO
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#12
1d10t
Wonder why they didn't pick Broadcom, as I recall they had vastly experiences in server spaces. I can argue for consumer space price is important, but AMD's first shot at networking should make a good impression, otherwise it will "ignored".
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#13
IceShroom
TheDeeGeeI think Steve reviewed this, was very loud and hot, and has display issues.
It is neither hot nor loud, but initial founder batch has display sharpness problem.
Dr_b_There's a lot of tech intel has failed at recently, but networking tech isn't one of them
Are you forgeting Intel's buggy 2.5G LAN cards.
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#14
TheLostSwede
1d10tWonder why they didn't pick Broadcom, as I recall they had vastly experiences in server spaces. I can argue for consumer space price is important, but AMD's first shot at networking should make a good impression, otherwise it will "ignored".
If they wanted to go with something better than the rest, they should've worked with QCA, but I guess QCA wouldn't let them brand it AMD, whereas MTK did.
QCA has imho the best WiFi radios out there and often also the best router SoCs, although the latter isn't relevant in this case.
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#15
stimpy88
Awful 3rd rate rubbish. Hate to say this, but you can't beat Intels WiFi gear.
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#16
R0H1T
Only in your imaginary world, whereas in reality QC, Broadcom & even MTK produce everything Intel offers & then some!
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#17
stimpy88
R0H1TOnly in your imaginary world, whereas in reality QC, Broadcom & even MTK produce everything Intel offers & then some!
Bingo! The hardware itself is usually pretty good these days, regardless of who designed it. But it's the Drivers, where the horsepower meets the road, and that's what makes the real difference.

So speaking from experience, I stand by my previous comment, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.
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#18
n-ster
stimpy88Awful 3rd rate rubbish. Hate to say this, but you can't beat Intels WiFi gear.
How do you feel about the Unifi NanoHD that uses MediaTek? It was a great value and performs very well and much smaller
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#19
stimpy88
n-sterHow do you feel about the Unifi NanoHD that uses MediaTek? It was a great value and performs very well and much smaller
I think MediaTek make some great (hardware) stuff. But as I said before, if there are any driver/firmware faults with it, don't expect it to be a short wait. And remember, this situation gets even worse when there is another company standing in between the hardware and the consumer, one which has a poor track record for customer support. Things have to go through AMD, which is awful in itself for drivers, before it even begins to reach MediaTek, then it's got to go back from MediaTek to AMD, then hopefully AMD will post it on their site a few months later...

I also admit to being bitten many times in the past by MediaTek, Realtek et el. If you buy it, and it works great out of the box, then you just scored a good bargain. If you have issues, you will wish you paid the extra in the end. I remember much fun with some MediaTek AV chipsets back in the day...

For the record, I'm not saying the other brands don't have their issues either.
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