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Google’s new mesh Wi-Fi router could also be a smart speaker

Google Wifi

Ample evidence points to a brand-new, multifunctional Google router launching later this year

Google is gearing up to launch a successor to the hugely popular Google Wifi router. Reports suggest that the tech giant is making good use of cutting-edge Qualcomm hardware to produce a mesh Wi-Fi hub that also functions as a smart speaker – given that mesh technology must be scattered around your home to work properly, it’s not hard to see the benefits. 

The report comes from tech news site Chrome Unboxed, which originally suggested that Google was hard at work producing a smart speaker that would operate with the new Qualcomm 400 series SoC (system on a chip) under the codename “Mistral”. We’ll get to that in a second.

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Various press releases and official documentation from Qualcomm explain that the 400 series are “dedicated audio SoCs” with particularly impressive “visual display capabilities”. They are, according to the official web page, designed and purpose-built for smart speakers and soundbars.

The very same press releases, however, also report that Qualcomm’s 400 series processors support Wi-Fi 6, a new networking technology designed to improve how your signal is shared by multiple devices (as well as boosting peak bandwidth speeds). Moreover, these new 400 series SoCs are capable of supporting a mesh Wi-Fi framework. It’s no stretch to suggest that Google has simply decided to make the most of these multi-talented Qualcomm chips.

In truth, though, the reason we’re all convinced this is a new Google Wifi product is far less technically complex. Google has a bizarre habit of naming its Wifi products after types of wind – the original mesh-router system is known as “Gale”. 

Now, it would be enough to point out that the codename “Mistral” is also the name given to a northwesterly wind current, but we can do better, thanks to a post from (unearthed by Chrome Unboxed) that confirms our suspicions.

Ignore the technical jargon – this message provides proof in clear English that “Mistral” is an update to the Google Wifi line (the “modified Gale”). Better yet, “Mistral” is apparently in the production validation testing (PVT) phase, which means that production on the new mesh Wi-Fi router has begun. In short, it won’t be long before “Mistral” hits shelves. 

Who knows: perhaps we’ll see Google’s hybrid mesh-router-slash-smart-speaker at its annual tech event in the autumn alongside the recently announced Google Pixel 4.