Wi-Fi Alliance presses ahead for 802.11n certification
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that it will begin certifying 802.11n products in the first half of 2007, ahead of the final ratification of the high-speed wireless standard by the IEEE.
The IEEE is currently targeting the first quarter of 2008 for final approval, but Wi-Fi products such as broadband routers that deploy the draft specification are already available, with tens of millions pre-standard devices expected to ship next year 2007.
‘While we are committed to supporting a full 802.11n standard when it is available, pre-standard products are reaching a level of maturity and there is enough market uptake that a certification program makes sense for the industry,’ said Wi-Fi Alliance managing director Frank Hanzlik.
The Wi-Fi Alliance expects a second phase of the ratification programme will be introduced at the time of the final 802.11n ratification and will support compatibility between pre-standard products and those certified to the full standard.
‘The ratified IEEE 802.11n is likely to include a larger set of features and will be a fully-reviewed standard,’ Hanzlik said. ‘We believe the maturity of the baseline features in the pre-standard certification diminishes the risk that products won’t comply with IEEE 802.11n when it is ratified.’
The benefit of 802.11n is the increased data throughput it offers – up to a theoretical maximum of 540 Mbit/sec. This is achieved through the use of MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), using a multi-antenna (transmitter and receiver) communication system.