The end is near, finally.
If all goes as planned, the 802.11g wireless standard will be officially completed on June 12. The final draft of the technical specification was completed last Friday.
With the completion of version 8.2 of the draft technical specification, all thats left to do is a "signatory" phase, where the members sign off on the completed agreement. That ratification should take place on June 12, after which chip vendors will start sending out their final firmware upgrades.
"The good news is that its here, on the same schedule as it was a year ago," said Jeff Abramowitz, senior director of WLAN marketing at Broadcom Corp. "There were interim meetings, and interim interim meetings, to make sure the schedule got met."
The 802.11g specification is seen as an evolutionary upgrade to 802.11b, which shares the same protocols as 802.11b but can reach the 54 Mbits/s bandwidth of competing 802.11a products.
Dell Computer, among others, has been promoting a Broadcom-based 802.11b/g wireless card for its notebook PCs, and the combination has yielded more sales than either discrete 802.11a or 802.11b cards, or even hybrid 802.11a/b/g products, Dell product managers have said.
Althought the 802.11g spec is essentially complete, the firmware upgrades will be distributed on or around June 12, to put the final official stamp of approval on the new technologies. After that, members of the wireless community will probably begin eyeing the 802.11i standard, designed to replace the WEP and WPA security algorithms, Abramowitz said.