IEEE Settles On 802.11n Standard, Easing Wireless Integration

By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2005-03-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The IEEE working group dedicated to the next-generation 802.11n standard has settled on a single proposal, TGn Sync, members said late Thursday night.

The IEEE working group dedicated to the next-generation 802.11n standard has settled on a single proposal, TGn Sync, members said late Thursday night.

The proposal, which is backed by Atheros, Intel, Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, and others, must now garner a 75 percent "supermajority" vote at the next IEEE meeting in May. The TGn Sync won in a head-to-head vote against the WWiSE proposal, led by a collection of communications companies including Airgo Networks, Broadcom, Conexant, Motorola, Nokia, and Texas Instruments.

The vote makes the TGn Sync proposal all but certain to win the IEEE's approval as the next IEEE 802.11n standard sometime in 2006 or 2007. If approved by the supermajority vote, the proposal would then move forward as the draft standard and then as the final specification.

PointerClick here to read more about the two proposals.

The 802.11n technology is designed to replace the current crop of 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g standards, with data rates in the neighborhood of 100 Mbits per second; the TGn Sync camp believes that they can achieve 315 Mbits/s or even 630-Mbits/s with even more advanced systems.

What isn't currently known is the fate of the so-called "pre-802.11n" products already in the market. Airgo Networks began shipping early versions of its chipset late last year, which have been incorporated into the F5D8xxx family from Belkin, which includes a notebook and desktop wireless card, plus a router. A representative from Belkin in the U.K. did not respond to requests for comment by post time.

Both the TGN Sync and defeated WWiSE proposals use an array of antennas known as MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) to better shape the signal. Both technologies have proposed using both 20-MHz channels and even 40-MHz and 60-MHz extensions, both of which are not currently permitted in Japan. The TGN Sync proposal also claims that the technology will be interoperable with current 802.11a/b/g standards.

The actual IEEE vote tally gave 181 votes to the TGn Sync proposal and 140 votes to WWiSE, according to a representative from Atheros Communications.

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