Next-Gen Wi-Fi Standard Falls Short of Consensus

The TGn Sync proposal fails to win the 75 percent approval that it required to become the draft 802.11n standard, bringing the debate back to square one.

Having failed to secure enough votes for standards approval, the debate over which proposal to back for the next-generation 802.11n standard moves back to square one.

At an IEEE meeting in Cairns, Australia, the TGn Sync proposal failed to win the 75 percent approval that it required to become the draft 802.11n standard. According to the IEEEs bylaws, the lack of compromise means that the TGn Sync as well as the opposing WWiSE (Worldwide Spectrum Efficiency) proposal must now be reconsidered, most probably to enact a merged standard.

According to Jeff Abramowitz, senior director of marketing for Broadcoms home and wireless networking business unit, the TGn Sync proposal garnered just 49.5 percent of the vote, far short of the 75 percent "super-majority" and less than the proposal received during a vote in March.

Different company representatives attend the meetings, however, so the difference in proportions may or may not be significant, he said.

The standards battle was supposedly resolved in March, when TGn Sync was approved by a bare majority. The 802.11n standard, if agreed upon, stands to replace the current alphabet soup of 802.11 wireless standards, which transmit data at up to 54 Mbits/s.

The basic 802.11n requirements call for a base throughput of 100 Mbits/s, although the TGn Sync consortium has talked about using the technology to achieve rates of higher than 315 Mbits/s. Both technologies use arrays of antennas, known as MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) to achieve their goals.

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