First draft of next Wi-Fi standard, 802.121n
The draft will now proceed through the IEEE ratification process, which includes letter balloting, comment resolution, sponsor balloting and final ratification. Full approval of similar specifications have typically taken about a year but the progress is unique to each standard and its associated participants.
The proposed IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi standard supports speeds of up to 600Mbps - a significant leap over today's Wi-Fi networks - and will enable wireless systems to deliver greater range.
Twenty seven companies set up the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC) last October and submitted a joint specification that they said was "designed to enable consumers to enjoy new levels of wireless performance, coverage and interoperability prior to ratification of an 802.11n standard".
Many of these had been members of the TGn Sync or WWiSe groups which had submitted competing proposals for the 802.11n standard. However a month prior to the formation of EWC, these two groups had buried their differences and submitted a joint proposal for 802.11n. Emergence of the EWC and its specification lead some commentators to predict another battle between the EWC spec and this Joint Proposal. However, the latest news indicates that this has not eventuated.
Meanwhile Marvell, one of the founding members of EWC, has claimed that its 88W836X chipset, released in October, complies 100 percent with the new 802.11n draft specification. The company said that acceptance of the draft specification "enables Marvell's key customers, who have been working with Marvell 88W836X chipsets for several months, to launch products in Q106."
Not to be outdone, another founding member of EWC, Broadcom, says it is shipping its new Intensi-f family of wireless LAN chipsets, claming them to be "the first solutions designed to comply with the IEEE 802.11n draft specification".
Broadcom claims that its Intensi-fi technology "incorporates all mandatory elements of the IEEE 802.11n draft specification and is designed to be software upgradeable once the standard is finalised."
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Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.