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First draft of 802.11n spec voted down

May 4, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The first draft 802.11n standard failed to win a simple majority, let alone the 75 percent needed to finalize it, in voting among IEEE 802.11 working group members this week. Several products claiming 802.11n draft compliance have already reached market, but the standard may not be ratified prior to mid-2007, suggests a brief report at WirelessNet Design Line (WDL).

Chip vendors Broadcom and Atheros both offer “draft-802.11n” chipsets, suggesting they believe that remaining problems with the 802.11n specification can be worked out in software. Additionally, LinkSys has already launched a Wireless-N product line, starting with a Linux-powered WRT300N access point that is currently based on Broadcom's Intensi-Fi chipset. However, testing at Labs showed the WRT300N's performance to drop significantly in mixed-mode environments, when sharing airspace with 802.11b and 802.11g radios.

The WDL story includes reactions from several WiFi chip vendors, including those shipping “draft n” products, and those awaiting a more mature specification. It can be found here.

Another WDL story published yesterday examines MIMO OFDM (multiple-input, multiple-output orthogonal frequency division multiplexing), the multi-radio, multi-antenna technology that has underpinned every significant 802.11n proposal. In addition to WiFi networks, MIMO OFDM technology could play a role in next-generation mobile phone networks, that story suggests. It can be found here.

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