IEEE Settles on High-Speed Wi-Fi Standard

The IEEE working group dedicated to the next-generation 802.11n standard has selected the TGn Sync group's proposal in an initial vote, but the standards battle isn't over just yet.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers working group dedicated to the next-generation 802.11n standard has settled on a single proposal, TGn Sync, members said late Thursday night.

The proposal, which is backed by Atheros Communications Corp., Intel Corp., Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Toshiba Corp., and others, must now garner a 75 percent "supermajority" vote at the next IEEE meeting in May. The TGn Sync won in a head-to-head vote against the WWiSE proposal, led by a collection of communications companies including Airgo Networks Inc., Broadcom Corp., Conexant Systems Inc., Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp., and Texas Instruments Inc.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about the two proposals.

The vote makes the TGn Sync proposal all but certain to win the IEEEs approval as the IEEE 802.11n standard sometime in 2006 or 2007. If approved by the supermajority vote, the proposal would then move forward as the draft standard and then as the final specification.

The 802.11n technology is designed to replace the current crop of 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g standards, with data rates in the neighborhood of 100M bps; the TGn Sync camp believes that it can achieve 315M bps or even 630M bps with even more advanced systems.

What isnt currently known is the fate of the so-called "pre-802.11n" products already in the market. Airgo Networks began shipping early versions of its chip set late last year, which have been incorporated into the F5D8xxx family from Belkin Corp., which includes a notebook and desktop wireless card, plus a router.

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