When it comes to technological advancements, there are always peaks and valleys.

Wi-Fi seems to have been stuck in one of those valleys for quite some time, but on Wednesday, the Wi-Fi Alliance unveiled a list of features that it will require new products to support in order for them to be part of the second wave of its certification program, coming later this year.

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The first (and most important) new feature is known as Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO). Despite the confusing name, MU-MIMO is actually relatively simple — it gives routers the ability to send data to multiple devices at once, rather than sending data to each of them one at a time.

Other additions to the certification program include doubling maximum channel bandwidth from 80 MHz to 160 MHz, support for an additional spatial stream and even more available channels in 5 GHz.

“In today’s world, people have more Wi-Fi devices per person and per household, and those devices require significantly more bandwidth,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance updated the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac program to meet increasing user demands and to stay ahead of emerging applications, while preserving interoperability.”

Here’s a list of the first Wi-Fi Certified ac “wave 2” products:

  • Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC
  • Marvell Avastar A88W8964
  • MediaTek MT7615 AP Reference Design and MT6632 STA Reference Design
  • Qualcomm IPQ8065 802.11ac 4-stream Dual-band, Dual-concurrent Router
  • Quantenna QSR1000 4×4 802.11ac Wave 2 Chipset Family

We should start seeing wave 2 devices hit store shelves within the coming weeks, but it will be a few years before they take over the market.

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