802.11n Draft Confirmed

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 's Task Group N just unanimously confirmed the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC)'s proposal as its draft 802.11n high-speed specification at its meeting in Hawaii.

The proposal's smooth passage was a bit anti-climactic after the controversy that has surrounded 802.11n, according to Michael Rude, director of technical marketing at Metalink Ltd. (Nasdaq: MTLK), who is there at the propellerhead get-together. (See 802.11n: Come Together.)

"It's a little bit of a letdown in the end," Rude tells Unstrung.

Still this means that the 802.11n specification is finally ready to get balloted, edited, and generally cleaned up before it finally makes its way to a vote before the 802 board.

So what additions has the EWC proposal seen? "I would say half-a-dozen significant features have been added," says Rude.

These include beamforming and space–time block coding (STBC), which are both methods of improving the reliability of data transmissions sent over wireless networks. The specification also includes improved power management for handheld devices, unlike some of the earlier 802.11 specifications.

The EWC proposal also says that the sheer speed offered by the latest specification means that 802.11n has "long legs."

"We aren't going to have to come back for a long time." he says. "At least, not for a bandwidth specification."

Unsurprisingly, vendors have already leapt on the vote, Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) announced its "Intensi-fi" chipsets literally seconds after Unstrung got off the phone with Rude. The chipset vendor describes the chipsets as "the the first solutions designed to comply with the IEEE 802.11n draft specification."

Unstrung expects that many more vendors will have "pre-802.11n" products waiting in the wings.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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