Update on 802.11n Draft 2.0

JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,025 Admin
After three years of grinding away on the draft, the IEEE 802.11n task group has voted to move forward in finalizing the 802.11n draft with a Draft 2.0 release. This marks the ability of Wi-Fi manufactures to create Draft 2.0-compliant 802.11n devices that are certifiable by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Final approval of 802.11n is expected in April 2008.

What should you expect from this? There will soon be numerous Wi-Fi manufactures releasing firmware updates for wireless devices with chipsets that can already support the Draft 2.0 standards, such as the Atheros Xspan. Consumers can also have confidence in compatibility when purchasing Wi-Fi Alliance-certified 802.11n Draft 2.0-compliant devices.

One interesting note is that Apple has included a 802.11n chipset in its new Core 2 Duo machines, but to receive the firmware upgrade, Apple will have to charge you $1.99US for "accounting purposes."

Why should you consider upgrading to 802.11n equipment? 802.11n is designed to replace 802.11b/g/a wireless communications technology. 802.11n is up to 10 times faster than 802.11g/a, with a maximum (theoretical) data throughput of 540Mbps (200Mbps typical), operates on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands, and has a typical range of 50 meters (165 feet). 802.11n is backward-compatible with 802.11b/g/a.

More info on 802.11n can be found at the Wikipedia.

Comments

  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    so i wonder if there will be vendor specific versions of N that will be like 1gbps? (like super g)
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

    In Progress: 70-640, 70-685
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,025 Admin
    The whole 108Mbps/802.11g thing was not good from a technical standpoint because the use of two channels to double the data throughput is disruptive to other, non-turbo Wi-Fi networks. It was also relatively unsuccessful from a marketing view because people didn't realize that "Turbo Mode" could only be attained only by using equipment from the same vendor. Consumers don't usually buy networking equipment exclusively from a single vendor; they instead buy based on the best price they can find, and expect that everything they buy will be interoperable. Buying an access point and finding that it won't work in turbo mode with most--or all--of the wireless equipment you already have is a big disappoint to a consumer.

    Will there be "Turbo Mode" 802.11n equipment? I'm sure that manufactures will test the concept in the lab and, if viable, some may actually offer it as an option that is turned off by default. However, if an 802.11n turbo mode network is as disruptive to other wireless networks as the turbo mode for 802.11g is, I think vendors will be highly discouraged by wireless standards organizations from releasing it.
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