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802.11n Finalized After 7 Years in the Making

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

After seven years, it's finally done.

Many of your newer Wi-Fi enabled devices may already have it, and you've probably been hearing about it for the last seven years, but the IEEE has finally ratified the standard for 802.11n – which some have just come to know it as Wireless-N.

This means that manufacturers of Wireless-N devices now have a finalized-specification to design their products to. Existing Wireless-N hardware will likely support the final spec with just a software update.

“This was an extraordinarily wide-ranging technical challenge that required the sustained effort and concentration of a terrific variety of participants. When we started in 2002, many of the technologies addressed in 802.11n were university research topics and had not been implemented,” said Bruce Kraemer, Chair of the IEEE Wireless LAN Working Group. “The performance improvements achieved via IEEE 802.11n stand to transform the WLAN user experience, and ratification of the amendment sets the stage for a new wave of application innovation and creation of new market opportunities.”

More than 400 individuals from equipment and silicon suppliers, service providers, systems integrators, consultant organizations and academic institutions from more than 20 countries participated in a seven-year effort leading to IEEE 802.11n’s ratification. Publication of the amendment is scheduled for mid-October.

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  • 20 Hide
    warezme , September 14, 2009 10:57 PM
    Sounds to me like 7 years of to many cooks in the kitchen.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    warezme , September 14, 2009 10:57 PM
    Sounds to me like 7 years of to many cooks in the kitchen.
  • -8 Hide
    doomtomb , September 14, 2009 11:09 PM
    But were already talking about how 802.11 sucks and newer standards will takeover...
  • 2 Hide
    SuicideSilence , September 14, 2009 11:13 PM
    Finally! haha
  • 3 Hide
    Robert17 , September 14, 2009 11:17 PM
    Good thing they didn't want to make a better mouse trap. That would only take 200 countries participants as all have mice.
  • 0 Hide
    Boxa786 , September 14, 2009 11:30 PM
    I have this with my router and I can get the advertised speeds, unliked b or g. So, im talking 130Mbps. My router has it set to auto, and as soon as it recognises the wifi card only supports b and g, it will automatically go back down to 54mbps, but its still awesome to see the possibility of 130Mbps. Who know's maybe we will see the theoretical speeds of 300Mbps.

    Current Consumer net, is around 24Mbps, so even at 300Mbps, you wouldnt see much difference there, but with file transfers and using the net, wifi wont be as intermittant as it currently is.
  • 1 Hide
    tipoo , September 14, 2009 11:32 PM
    Very little changed in the standard for the last 2 and a half years, they could have launched it a year ago and already been working on 802.11P.
  • 1 Hide
    cybrcatter , September 14, 2009 11:47 PM
    Cat-5 cable please XD
  • 2 Hide
    zerapio , September 15, 2009 12:00 AM
  • 1 Hide
    Montezuma , September 15, 2009 1:03 AM
    It's like IEEE took information from Microsoft's Vista production playbook.
  • 2 Hide
    timaahhh , September 15, 2009 1:13 AM
    Thank jebus. The wireless situation in many neighborhoods like mine are bad. Two city wide wireless services, plus a dozen wireless routers most of which seem to be the rangemax and boosted type routers all on rotating channels make finding an optimal channel impossible. So much wireless noise.
  • 2 Hide
    ravewulf , September 15, 2009 1:38 AM
    It's about time! :) 
  • 3 Hide
    mikeynavy1976 , September 15, 2009 1:39 AM
    For the experts here...does this mean anything for all of the 802.11n products that have been released up until now?
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 2:03 AM
    Finally... I had gone to a technical school as a sophomore when I heard rumors of the standard. I had graduated highschool when I bought a b/g router cause I didn't want to shell out money for a draft-n. I went through college and studied a bit about draft-n. I graduated college and my parents got att u-verse (att supplied a wireless router) and gave me back the router I had bought for them (US Robotics). Now I am married and have my own place, and have the router sitting on the shelf. Unused now, but reminding me that it served its purpose, and didn't cost a fortune.

    My point is: I don't think I have ever known or will know a technology that has taken so long to get ratified. Yeah, the theories were there. The draft products beta'd the different implementations testing how products would react to each other so that they could maximize compatibility (aka, some members pushed their idea as best, because their draft product already supported it). I'm glad for N to be done, but only because it annoyed me of how long it took.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 2:22 AM
    will there be any negative effects, like less far broadcasting (weaker transmission signal) or other negative effects of applying an update to an existing wireless-n device?
  • 1 Hide
    njkid3 , September 15, 2009 2:29 AM
    its about time this happened
  • 2 Hide
    nitto555rchallenger , September 15, 2009 3:41 AM
    Wow someone really is given out bad ratings to people bad mouthing the IEEE for taking a long time or the newly standard N would be the late forgotten standard soon.

    7 years is a long time in the technological world, but so many people and organizations wanted to add their 2-cents into it and prolonged the ratification.

    However how I see it, if companies are force to update existing firmware to accommodate to the newly-standard, then more ideas towards firmware modding, less signal noise, and a migration from B/G to N.

    All in all a plus for the technical world...
  • 2 Hide
    mavroxur , September 15, 2009 4:14 AM
    Good thing they finalized it....right toward the end of it's life.
  • 4 Hide
    randomizer , September 15, 2009 4:44 AM
    So in 7 years we've had a 5.5x improvement in theoretical maximum speeds. That's pitiful. This should have been ratified 4 years ago at the latest.
  • -6 Hide
    FSC , September 15, 2009 6:57 AM
    hah.... windows 7 took 7 years and there is no improvement whatsoever
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