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802.11n Wi-Fi Standard = Headache

Posted: 07th Jul, 2004 By: MarkJ
UltraWideBand (UWB) has yet to hit the shops and the wireless industry is already busy working towards 802.11n, yet the new standard may be sometime coming due to differing technological ideas:

With over 500 interested parties and more than 60 proposals tabled, according to reports, the initial meeting -- scheduled for 11 July in Portland, Oregon -- promises to be the first of many. While even the basic specifications for the standard remain unclear, with speeds running to 200Mbps or higher, industry politics are already taking hold.

"I'm a little bit afraid," said Liesbet Van De Parre of the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) in Belgium, a research centre with interests in the standard. "It's still possible for the participants to find a compromise if they want to. If they stick to their own schemes, there'll be problems. I don't see a clear outcome in the coming months."

According to industry newspaper EE Times, there are two main groups coalescing around two different proposals. One, called TGnSynch, seeks higher speed by doubling the existing radio bandwidth and using transmission techniques akin to those already in use: the other, WWiSE, is promoting existing channel widths and much more advanced coding techniques. The first group includes Atheros, Intel, Sony, Philips and Matsushita; the second, Texas Instruments, Motorola, Conexant, Broadcom and Mitsubishi.


UWB should technically be capable (with later expansion) of anything from 100Mbps to 480Mbps (theoretical), yet some have indicated that 802.11n's aim would be to deliver 'actual' 100Mbps+ speeds.

Interestingly neither technology has managed to gain complete agreement yet, although UWB based Wi-Fi is expected to arrive in 2006. More @ ZDNet.
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