Is there Amplifi Alien with WiFi 6E?


  • Does the new Amplifi Alien have a 6 GHz band? Anyone know if there is any plan for it if it doesn't have it already?


  • @Joyal-Varghese the Alien isn’t capable of 6 GHz or Wi-Fi 6E; that requires all new hardware. There no Wi-Fi 6E routers or clients in existence yet, and won’t be for at least another 6 months to a year.


  • @Joyal-Varghese I’m sure they eventually will but it won’t be for awhile yet. The standard was just ratified and specifically requires new hardware. I think it said in the spec that you cannot use older hardware on those spectrums. From the articles I’ve read, exactly as the previous poster said, we’re looking at the first 6E devices around Holiday, 2020. These will only be the highest end routers for early adopters. More will likely be introduced at CES 2021 and then hit the market at various times in the year. We finally gave up waiting for the next spec (WiFi 6 was only ratified a few months after initially saying it wouldn’t be till later in 2020) and decided to pick up the Alien. The first real application that WiFi 6E will be helpful on will be a dedicated 6E back haul on mesh units. They can put that back link in the 6E spectrum for less interference and faster speeds. But until WiFi 6E devices come out, 6E routers won’t be able to take much advantage of that new spectrum, if that makes sense. That’s why the mesh units with dedicated back link will be the first units to take any advantage of the new spectrum. That’s why we gave up waiting and picked up the Alien. By the time 6E gets mainstream towards the end of next year, we’ll have gotten some good use out of the Alien and may look at upgrading. Otherwise, we’ll wait till there’s more choice on the market.

    EDIT: to be clearer, the reason the governing body won’t allow older hardware on the new spectrum is to stop what’s happened on the 2.4ghz bands were older hardware slows down the newer hardware. Since they aren’t going to allow older hardware in the new spectrum, it will keep the new spectrum at maximum speeds, which is a good thing in the long term.


  • @raeyn you said it perfectly. From what I’ve read in various networking blogs (like Computerworld), Wi-Fi 6E network cards and chipsets for computers and mobile devices won’t be available until 1st or 2nd quarters of 2021 at the earliest, same for routers. That means it will be a while before anyone will be using Wi-Fi 6E.


  • Does the new Amplifi Alien have a 6 GHz band? Anyone know if there is any plan for it if it doesn't have it already?

    Hi @Joyal-Varghese - there is circumstantial evidence that Alien hardware could be relatively easily upgraded to support Wi-Fi 6E should AmpliFi choose to do so as a new model...

    The AmpliFi Alien website claims the Alien is capable of 16 spatial streams (https://amplifi.com/alien)
    "AmpliFi Alien comes with 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi 6 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5 radios. They deliver 7685 Mbps total capacity and 16 spatial streams from a single AmpliFi Alien unit."

    It was originally thought that the Alien was using the Qualcomm Networking Pro 1200 'Hawkeye v2' platform (https://www.qualcomm.com/products/qualcomm-networking-pro-1200-platform), but it is only capable of 12 spatial streams, and what I recall is the Alien website originally only claiming 12 steams, but that was updated to 16 streams with the latest firmware v3.4.0

    Qualcomm spec's are always in transition and hard to keep track of with chip revisions, but only the latest Wi-Fi 6E Qualcomm Networking Pro 1610 Platform currently claims to support 16 spatial streams...
    https://www.qualcomm.com/products/qualcomm-networking-pro-1610-platform

    And the Wi-Fi 6E Qualcomm Networking Pro 1610 Platform supports the IPQ8074 v2 SoC, which we know from the FCC images is in the Alien

    We also know from the FCC images that Alien uses a completely self contained modular ZIF PCB for the rather unusually implemented "Additional WiFi 5 Radio" with its own independent 4x4 antenna connectors

    And the Alien has a rather unique (and impressive) single piece stamping 12 polarity antenna, which is also on a modular frame
    (it is very VERY unlikely that the current antenna would be capable supporting the 6 GHz band as it is currently designed)

    So, with a modular 4x4 radio PCB, a modular antenna, and a Wi-Fi 6E ready SoC already implemented, it should be a fairly straight forward hardware update to transition the Alien to the Wi-Fi 6E Networking Pro 1610 Platform which "...can simultaneously use both 8 streams of 5 GHz spectrum and 4 streams of 6 GHz spectrum"

    That would also make more sense of some of the hardware choices that AmpliFi made with the Alien at the time when Wi-Fi 6E was still not finalized yet and the supporting platforms were still in development

    We have no idea what AmpliFi's plans are for the future of the Alien and/or Wi-Fi 6E, but it at least appears from the circumstantial evidence, that AmpliFi may have kept support of the 6 GHz band in mind as a potential hardware update...


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  • @Derek-Saville Wonder if they will sell just the PCB to do the upgrade yourself?


  • @Timothy-Farley I doubt it. From the pictures of the Alien router innards, that job would be pretty much impossible by pretty much everyone due to the complexity of the innards, and more than just the PCB would have to be changed out for the upgrade. These routers are NOT designed to be upgraded that way.


  • @Richard1864 Could you send me the link for the internals please. Thanks.



  • These routers are NOT designed to be upgraded that way.

    Unfortunately, as @Richard1864 says, the Alien is not meant to be user serviceable

    The one detail I was really hoping to get from the FCC images was how to crack open the Alien, but they left out pictures of the base plastic cover, which means it may even require mutilation to get inside

    The housing of the HD cubes were hard enough to deal with...Aliens are just too expensive to 'experiment on'

    And you will quickly see why the Alien is so expensive from a hardware design and BOM perspective

    I am still scratching my head on the Alien's thermal design...kind of a "leaky convection oven" philosophy?

    Was expecting it to be more like the UDM, so just guessing they will eventually open up a few more ventilation holes in the housing on the next model revision

    But as expensive as the Alien likely is to produce, that may also strongly suggest they did have a hardware upgrade development path planned


  • Hi @Timothy-Farley - yes, the Alien has a quantity of four, 4-stream radio chips for 16 total streams (excluding BT)...

    • Qty 1 QCN5024 = 4 stream 2.4 GHz 802.11ax on the main PCB
    • Qty 2 QCN5054 = 8 stream 5 GHz 802.11ax (currently limited to the 5.8 GHz band) on the main PCB
    • Qty 1 QCA9984 = 4 stream 5 GHz 802.11ac (currently limited to the 5.2 GHz band) on a ZIF PCB

  • @Derek-Saville Yup thats right in the middle. Does not look too crazy. Remove that top heatsink and you are good. The fan and power supply is on the other side. Looks to be 3-4 screws on the heatsink. If it slides out of the of the plastic shell, it looks easy. Only issue I see is the front screen.


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