WiFi 6E for ASRock motherboards
ASRock is now offering and network interface upgrade options for both AMD and Intel systems.
The company is now offering either AMD or Intel WiFi-6E (802.11ax) standard network cards for its newest motherboards. While the company is not confirming the exact chipset used by either of the products, AMD version appears to match AMD RZ608 NIC by design. This is a rebranding of MediaTek MT7921K card that made a debut last year with AYANEO handheld console. This is a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E card with Bluetooth 5.2 support designed for PCIe interface.
Intel’s card is most likely based on the latest AX211 or AX411 chipsets. This card is using the latest CNVIo2 M.2 interface that will not be compatible with previous generations of chipsets and Core series (such as 10th/11th Gen unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer).
In other words, CNVIo standard is Intel’s way to lock the network chipset to Intel’s own platform. The 802.11ax card will only work with ASRock 600-series motherboards for Alder Lake and Raptor Lake CPUs and most likely with the latest laptops. Intel is also selling AX210 Wi-Fi 6E cards with standard M.2 PCIe interface, however, the latest AX411 chipsets are locked to CNVIo2 interface.
ASRock release is a great reminder that not all Wi-Fi M.2 2230 cards are compatible with each other. At least there is always an option to use USB interface.