Ayaneo announced Sunday that 2,000 units of its handheld gaming device would soon reach Indiegogo backers with a surprise inside: The new AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E module that, before yesterday's announcement, hadn't even been revealed to the public.
"The RZ608 announced today has never been revealed on the Internet," Ayaneo CEO Arthur Zhang said in the announcement, "so many of you don't believe it." But he assured Indiegogo backers that his company's "cooperation with AMD allows us to be the first to get the latest CPU and technical support among handheld consoles."
For anyone unfamiliar with Ayaneo: The device is essentially a Nintendo Switch based on the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U APU, commonly known as Renoir, paired with a proprietary cooling solution that's supposed to enable improved performance. It debuted on Indiegogo in March with a variety of configurations starting at $789.
Now it seems that Ayaneo will rely on AMD for more than just the Renoir APU. Zhang said in the announcement that the AMD RZ608 module offers support for Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and their predecessors. (Not everyone has a Wi-Fi 6E router, of course, especially since the global chip shortage has limited router supplies.)
Zhang also shared a screenshot of the AMD RZ608's specs:
The Wi-Fi Alliance said Wi-Fi 6E brings the "higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates" offered by Wi-Fi 6 into the 6GHz band. This is supposed to "enable high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput, as well as lower latency connectivity that is specifically well suited for next generation uses."
Zhang said yesterday that Bluetooth 5.2 is supposed to offer "faster connection speed, lower latency, faster transmission speed, longer distance, lower power consumption, and better user experience compared to Bluetooth 5.0." More information about the spec can be found in this overview from Bluetooth SIG.
Ayaneo users will likely appreciate both improvements. There just seems to be one point of contention: AnandTech reported that the AMD RZ608 is "actually a rebranded MediaTek MT7921K module with an AMD logo on it." The performance should be the same, naturally, but the hype surrounding the module won't be.
Not that AMD rebranding MediaTek parts should necessarily come as a surprise. The companies reportedly started working together in September 2020 with plans to develop Wi-Fi 6 networking parts and, sometime in the future, 5G modems. It seems the AMD RZ608 could be the first product of that relationship to reach the public.