by

By Karen Brown
MultiChannel News

1/20/2006 12:02:00 PM

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6300986.html?display=Breaking+News

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. standards
body
may have just added some nitro to Wi-Fi development, approving a draft
proposal Thursday for the new 802.11n specification.

The IEEE Task Group N voted to confirm the 802.11n proposal it has
been
developing for more than one year.

The 802.11n standard is the latest in the family of Wi-Fi standards,
theoretically offering downstream throughputs as high as 600 megabits
per
second. By comparison, the 802.11g standard many Wi-Fi products are
based
on now offers a maximum throughput of 54 mbps.

With the task group’s stamp of approval, the 802.11n standard will
make its
way through the IEEE’s complex ratification process, which typically
takes
about one year.

In related news, Broadcom Corp. Thursday announced the availability of
a
new line of wireless-local-area-network chip sets based on the draft
802.11n standard. The “Intensi-fi” chip scheme incorporates all of the
elements of the draft 802.11n standard, and it can be modified by
software
upgrades if the standard is altered before it is ratified.

“Now that we have the technical foundation for the 802.11n standard,
the
Wi-Fi market will begin to experience renewed growth as vendors
deliver
next- generation wireless devices,” said Philip Solis, senior analyst
at
ABI Research. “We expect suppliers like Broadcom to capitalize on this
opportunity by introducing advanced solutions that promise
interoperability
and upgradeability when the standard is completed, just as it did with
its
draft 802.11g solutions.”

While the draft specification allows for bit rates as high as 600
mbps,
Broadcom’s Intensi-fi chips are targeting data rates just north of 300
mbps. The chips also offer multiple transmit and receiving antennas
built
onto them to boost radio coverage.

Broadcom is targeting home and office applications for the chip set,
including delivery of HDTV files and other multimedia across a
wireless
link in a home network.


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