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Wireless Networking

IEEE Approves 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the lightning-fast dept.
alphadogg writes "The IEEE has finally approved the 802.11n high-throughput wireless LAN standard. Bruce Kraemer, the long-time chairman of the 802.11n Task Group (part of the 802.11 Working Group, which oversees the WLAN standards), has sent out a notification to a listserv for task group members, which includes a wide range of Wi-Fi chip makers, software developers, and equipment vendors. A press release is available now as well. This process began in 2002."
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IEEE Approves 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard

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  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:23PM (#29394711)
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/21/802_11n_patent_threat/ [theregister.co.uk]

    I'm assuming that if it had been as simple as "take their legos and play elsewhere" (ie replace CSIRO patented technology), they would have done so. The article was written before CSIRO refused to sign the agreements, and before they secretly negotiated what amounted to licensing agreements with a number of top manufacturers.

    Interestingly, someone just revised the Wikipedia article by wholesale-deleting any references to patent issues, CSIRO, or their licensing "settlements" [wikipedia.org].

    What is annoying is that I had to give up trying to find information on WHAT the infringements were. Nobody seems to know, or want to say.

  • by More_Cowbell (957742) * on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:44PM (#29394821) Journal
    Totally agree with you, but for me, here is the important part (emphasis mine):

    ...--will enable rollout of significantly more scalable WLANs that deliver 10-fold-greater data rates than previously defined while ensuring co-existence with legacy systems and security implementations.

    So, cool. Don't know which I'll be replacing first, my laptop with 11.n or my wireless router - but it's nice to know that any new device will work with the old. (The extra throughput would not benefit me as my cable internet is the current weak link...)

  • Re:Yipee? (Score:3, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:45PM (#29394825) Journal

    You mean the wireless modems don't come with Flash ROM that can be updated by the user? That's whack. The old USR Robotics modems were upgrdeable from 19.2 to 28.8 to 56k as each new standard was released.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:47PM (#29394837) Homepage Journal

    The talk page... [wikipedia.org]

    I encourage other wiki users to look at this diff [wikipedia.org] and help determine if this edit is unfounded or not.

  • by Supergibbs (786716) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:50PM (#29394855) Homepage
    It's great for LAN file transfers. I used to use ethernet cables to transfer large files between my laptop and desktop. Now (until HD throughput increases) I don't need to.
  • by owlstead (636356) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:51PM (#29394857)

    For those who haven't read until the end of the boring article, let me just put in the last sentence:

    "According to the Alliance, users can expect future Wi-Fi products to be fully compatible with todayâ(TM)s products."

    Well, that's at least a relieve. Hopefully they did not have to drop a lot of features to get that result. The other good thing is having an official test suite, so products don't have to be tested 1:N where N is all the other products out there. Although I presume there are also Draft N test suites available already.

  • by Trongy (64652) on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:14PM (#29394961)

    Co-existence means more than that. It means that your neighbour's new .11n equipment shouldn't clobber your existing .11g network. That's important to those in densely packed urban areas

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:23PM (#29394997)

    They built the products early because the IEEE was dragging their feet on the final approval. The IEEE defined the standard exceptionally late - that's WHY the vendors built early. You've got the cause and effect totally reversed.

    And it's not like the vendors had anything to do with the delay. They certainly worked together in a harmonious fashion without trying to push their own technological agenda into the working group. /sarcasm

    Who do you think was in the IEEE effort? It was the vendors themselves. Just look at the 802.11 member list:

    http://www.ieee802.org/11/Voters/votingmembers.htm

    It was the members themselves that couldn't decide between the competing technologies (TGn Sync and WWiSE):

    http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/article.php/3490926
    http://www.networkworld.com/net.worker/news/2005/020705netleadside.html

    The IEEE is not some ivory tower institution sending down standards from the clouds like Zeus and his lightning bolts. It is made up of members, and those members are sponsored by their employers to work on these standards (and there may even be a few "independents" as well).

    The IEEE took a long time to come to a consensus because the vendors (through their paid employees) took a long time to come to a consensus.

  • by Hungus (585181) on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:27PM (#29395019) Journal

    Note: I originally posted the AC and the reason it is even vaguely humorous is because it will only take minor flash updates to the current chipsets to make them fully compliant, while they are effectively compliant now.

  • Re:glad i waited (Score:2, Informative)

    by debile (812761) on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:36PM (#29395049)

    WRT160NL with a bonus USB port for your external hard drive (who said cheap media server?)

    http://gizmodo.com/5301321/linksys-wrt160nl-is-fully-linux-powered-80211n-and-acts-as-media-server [gizmodo.com]

  • Re:IEEE Stinks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:38PM (#29395055)

    All IEEE 802 standards are available for free:

                    http://standards.ieee.org/getieee802/
                    http://standards.ieee.org/getieee802/portfolio.html

    Besides, what's wrong with them charging for it? Even a non-profit has bills to pay.

    (And 802.11-2007 is 1184 pages.)

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday September 11, 2009 @08:00PM (#29395131) Homepage Journal

    You meant the ITU, right? IEEE is an entirely different organization.

    The other thing was the context was a market where there already were a lot of non-ITU standards. V.32 came about as an effort to get modem manufacturers to unify on a common standard after virtually everyone did their own (entirely different, unrelated to any ITU effort) thing to get to 9600bps. Some modified V.29 to make it kinda full duplex, others did OFDM, others came up with even more exotic systems.

    V.32 was finally released, and quickly followed by V.32bis. At this point:

    - Some companies just stretched V.32 a little bit more and came up with V.32terbo. Nobody did this in anticipation of an ITU standard though, obviously, they'd have been happy if it had been supported.

    - Hayes and USR, on opposite sides, came up with V.FC and 56KFlex, neither directly in anticipation of a specific ITU standard but hoping their technology would form the basis of "the next" ITU standard, whatever that was.

    This is different to the pre-N (and before that pre-G) stuff. In the latter cases, the IEEE actually published a draft standard, and the manufacturers decided to go ahead and implement it. The "draft N" routers weren't proprietary technologies designed to compete with other "much better than IEEE standards" systems from rival manufacturers, they were actual implementations of a standard everyone was kinda sorta unified around but which hadn't had the official seal of approval for a variety of reasons.

    So the context is very different. The ITU wasn't wearing running shoes, but it at least put its walking boots on every time the industry called. The IEEE, on the other hand, seems to be content to prance around in very uncomfortable 3" high heels.

    (You were expecting a car analogy?)

  • by nirjhari (1039166) on Friday September 11, 2009 @10:11PM (#29395563)
    If my memory serves right (it's kind of fading these days; it's been a long time....) it was the result of patent claims from some state-funded institution in Australia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12, 2009 @04:25AM (#29396765)

    Actual hard disk throughput is generally about 800 Mbps. Fastest 11n throughput I've seen (and I've seen many!) was about 85 Mbps. Currently the only way to even approach the rate what a SINGLE hard disk can output is to use gigabit wired ethernet.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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