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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 swanzilla (1458281) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:10PM (#29394635) Homepage
    From the notification:

    I expect to extend the celebration of the success , (while we continue work on the other amendments in process ) when we convene in Hawaii two weeks from now.

    It only took seven years to get this far...may as well go relax.

    I'm very jealous of that time table.

  • glad i waited (Score:3, Interesting)

    by satsuke (263225) on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:44PM (#29394815)

    call me risk adverse .. but i was actually waiting for the final publication and n devices.

    it's only recently that the n devices were cost competitive with the g devices.

    now to push cisco/linksys to release an n equivelent to the wrt54gl device

  • Re:Yipee? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jdion (664108) <james@Nospam.frymanet.com> on Friday September 11, 2009 @06:59PM (#29394901)

    So what? There have been Wireless-N products out now for quite a long time. Who gives a flippin' **** about the official approval of the format? It's not like the manufacturers will go back and update the firmware on the older devices. They'll just put out new products, brand them as "Official Wireless-N", and drop support for older equipment which may or not work as well.

    One of the requirements to have a pre-n modem branded as 'pre-n' since 2007 is that the firmware would be upgradable to the official N standard when drafted. If anything, this will allow a vendor to release the final firmware upgrade for older devices branded on or around 2007, and get on with life.

    We should see at least one more update for older devices.

  • by loose electron (699583) on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:16PM (#29394969) Homepage

    Folks - sad to say, but there is little bit of a disconnect between the IEEE and industry.

    The organization is largely dominated by academics, and students. Industry participation is a bit mixed, to say the least.

    The Special Interest Groups (SIG) are more effective at getting things done (WiFI alliance, WiMax, ZigBee, Bluetooth, etc)

    What happens and gets adopted inside the SIG generally is what happens in the real world. The blessing of the IEEE standard is generally after the fact.
    If the SIG blesses it, HW and SW move ahead, and you get a timely product development where everyone's stuff plugs and plays together.

    Even inside a SIG, the politics and bickering is a tug of war, but the members are motivated to get it done because their companies want to ship products.

    As for the IEEE, due to the academic orientation, there is a lack of impetus to produce standards quickly, and practical information is often not welcome in IEEE journal publications. As a reviewer for 2 IEEE journals, I want the practical, but my reviews go against 3-5 others, and its a consensus decision. Often other reviewers want the math analysis pretty, and don't care much that the publication has nothing for real world application or validity.

    Go figure -

    Oh, and yeah, I truly am a member of the IEEE, Senior Grade, Chapter chair for several societies, and journal reviewer as well. However my efforts are generally swimming against the flow. Because of that, when I publish, I do it in the electronics trade magazines where real world issues are a lot more welcome.

  • IPV6? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sadler121 (735320) <msadler@gmail.com> on Friday September 11, 2009 @07:58PM (#29395125) Homepage

    Are there any non-apple routers that support IPv6 out of the box? Upgrading from 802.11b/g/a to n would be the perfect opportunity to make sure the consumer router market is ready for IPv6.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Friday September 11, 2009 @08:52PM (#29395275) Journal

    .. did they make a change at the last minute that is small, but nevertheless renders all of the current "pre-n" hardware and software obsolete?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12, 2009 @12:23AM (#29396111)

    The delay is not really due to academics. Standard making is a bit of a tug-of-war between various industry players, or specifically between "IP owners" and device makers. The goal of IP owners is to get their patented technology in the standard. If they succeed, and in particular if they can make their technology a mandatory part of the standard, then they can extract big royalties from the device manufacturers. And, no, I am not speaking about CSIRO here.

    That actually played a big role in the beginning of the IEEE 802.11n standardization. IP shops aggregated around two big camps, led by Intel and Broadcom respectively. But then, Intel and Broadcom, who are fierce competitors in the market, realized that they were being taken for a ride, and switched strategy. They got together, and with other big manufacturers like Atheros or Marvell, defined a subset of the various proposals that they could quickly implement and that required minimal licensing. This is very much what ended up as 802.11n.

    Of course, IP owners cried bloody murder, and attempted to use the IEEE voting procedures to delay the standard, hoping to get their pound of flesh in the final draft. They were helped by telcos, notably AT&T. You see, telcos have payed big money for wireless licenses, to enable 3G and then LTE and 4G. At some degree, Wi-Fi competes with that. If 11n provides 100Mbps or 200 Mbps, the 3G network does not look so good. Guess who filed more than 2000 comments to delay the standard? AT&T!

    But as soon as "interim" products were on the market, and were interoperating, the delaying game became worthless. Sure, you can still go in the committee and try to make provision for your preferred patented improvement, but it cannot break the established base of millions of products, so it can at best be optional. Checkmate.

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