802.11n Finalized After 7 Years in the Making

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • warezme
    Sounds to me like 7 years of to many cooks in the kitchen.
  • doomtomb
    But were already talking about how 802.11 sucks and newer standards will takeover...
  • SuicideSilence
    Finally! haha
  • Robert17
    Good thing they didn't want to make a better mouse trap. That would only take 200 countries participants as all have mice.
  • Boxa786
    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.
  • tipoo
    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.
  • cybrcatter
    Cat-5 cable please XD
  • zerapio
  • Montezuma
    It's like IEEE took information from Microsoft's Vista production playbook.
  • timaahhh
    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.