Monday, September 14th 2009

IEEE Ratifies 802.11n Wireless LAN Specification

IEEE today announced that its Standards Board has ratified the IEEE 802.11n-2009 amendment, defining mechanisms that provide significantly improved data rates and ranges for wireless local area networks (WLANs). This new amendment to the IEEE 802.11 base standard is designed to help the data communications industry address the escalating demands placed on enterprise, home and public WLANs with the rise of higher-bandwidth file transfers and next-generation multimedia applications. WLANs based on IEEE 802.11 are widely deployed, with more than one million units shipping per day.

The IEEE 802.11 standard defines how to design interoperable WLAN equipment that provides a variety of capabilities including a wide range of data rates, quality of service, reliability, range optimization, device link options, network management and security.

The 560-page 802.11n amendment—“…WLAN Enhancements for Higher Throughput" —will enable rollout of significantly more scalable WLANs that deliver 10-fold-greater data rates than previously defined while ensuring co-existence with legacy systems and security implementations.

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.

“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.”

Added Paul Nikolich, IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee Chairman: “Everyone involved in the 802.11n process—and no one more than Bruce Kraemer, whose strong leadership has been instrumental from the start—deserves congratulations because this is a key data communications milestone and a good example of the consensus building environment 802 provides for its participants. The amendment will enable a dramatic leap forward in WLAN scalability with only a modest associated rise in costs for the industry and end users.”

For further information on IEEE 802.11n, visit this page.
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41 Comments on IEEE Ratifies 802.11n Wireless LAN Specification

#3
francis511
So we can all "officially" buy n-specification routers now ? (snicker)
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#4
Wile E
Power User
It's about damn time. There's way too much bureaucracy involved in getting these standards approved. How many years did that take, 7?
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#5
[I.R.A]_FBi
been a long time coming ... now i can think out n migration
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#6
Fx
ffs- took long enough...
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#7
PP Mguire
They ratify it when the next standard is on the horizon.
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#8
lemonadesoda
What happens to all those "draft-n" devices? Can they be fixed via firmware? Or are the changes at a hardware level and therefore once draft-n always draft-n.

If so, there may be a lot of cheap draft-n products about to be dumped... (which still work pretty much OK)
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#9
Fx
by: lemonadesoda
What happens to all those "draft-n" devices? Can they be fixed via firmware? Or are the changes at a hardware level and therefore once draft-n always draft-n.

If so, there may be a lot of cheap draft-n products about to be dumped... (which still work pretty much OK)
I am wondering the same thing. based upon that gamble I never bought pre-N
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#10
PP Mguire
Even before this i started seeing the word draft dropped. So i bet there is no difference besides the name.
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#11
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
i have a netgear n router draft 2 that i never ever use now. perhaps a firmware upgrad to it will give it some meaning now.
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#12
TheLaughingMan
Yes, this for people with Draft-N products, will boil down to a firmware update. Hopefully a firmware update that will improve your routers performance...which is good because my router hasn't had a firmware update in 3 1/2 years.
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#13
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: TheLaughingMan
Yes, this for people with Draft-N products, will boil down to a firmware update. Hopefully a firmware update that will improve your routers performance...which is good because my router hasn't had a firmware update in 3 1/2 years.
same with me. i cant use the netgear wireless n draft 2 router as a bridge.
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#14
El Fiendo
The real question is if a lot of the draft N hardware meets the spec. I seem to remember being alot of the hardware out there varied in specs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
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#15
Scrizz
by: El Fiendo
The real question is if a lot of the draft N hardware meets the spec. I seem to remember being alot of the hardware out there varied in specs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
I know alot of draft-n devices don't have the hardware to comply :slap:
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#16
El Fiendo
Well, alot of people are saying 'everything will be covered by firmware updates', yet I'm seeing others say that loads of stuff will have to be binned out back. Time will tell I guess.
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#17
Mussels
Moderprator
finally.

this has taken too long - with the different drafts and incompatibilities between brands, i'd been avoiding N
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#18
eidairaman1
ya N Routers still suck, I have a Dual band adapter from netgear and a Draft N router downstairs, reception is junk, course only reason its down there is My roommate thinks his Xbox was lagging in COD5 with it being upstairs, well TBH im going to probably find a wireless expander and also secure his network so only we can access it, it's either that or i get a patch cable.
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#19
EnglishLion
I surprised that everyone thinks this ratification will now prompt firmware upgrades to be released and that those upgrades will cure all router problems.

The g standard has been official for many years yet many routers still have problems, drop connections and generally fail miserably. Not all of course, a few are good.

My n-router has just been returned under warranty as it happens so I'm back on my original 802.11b spec!
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#20
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I personally have a Linksys WRT160N V2 Draft N router and the thing is bad ass, even when streaming a blu ray movie to my ps3, really no stutter. I do hope though that a firmware upgrade will bring any necessary improvements though. Not that I would mind snagging me another router when it is specified, but hell this was 75 bucks at wally world.
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#21
TheLaughingMan
A Firmware update will fix my problems. Like my router not recognizing the existence of my iPhone or my friends new Zune. They can see the network, but can't connect. I actually downgraded the Firmware to a previous version and everything worked perfectly. I lost a few options in the config. menu, but everyone in the apt. can use it now.
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#22
Wile E
Power User
by: eidairaman1
ya N Routers still suck, I have a Dual band adapter from netgear and a Draft N router downstairs, reception is junk, course only reason its down there is My roommate thinks his Xbox was lagging in COD5 with it being upstairs, well TBH im going to probably find a wireless expander and also secure his network so only we can access it, it's either that or i get a patch cable.
That's your hardware. My D-Link DIR-655 gives me a strong enough signal to surf from half a block away on my iPhone's POS wifi. In the house I get damn near a full signal from anywhere in the house from the basement to the 3rd floor. The unit itself is behind my TV on the first floor.
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#23
Fx
by: Wile E
That's your hardware. My D-Link DIR-655 gives me a strong enough signal to surf from half a block away on my iPhone's POS wifi. In the house I get damn near a full signal from anywhere in the house from the basement to the 3rd floor. The unit itself is behind my TV on the first floor.
I love DLink. it isnt wireless but my DGL-4100 has been a solid performer for 4yrs now
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#24
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
that's right i also habe the DIR-655. but it cant be used as a bridge even if the wireless it turned off. not sure why D-Link disable that feature!
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#25
eidairaman1
I had a DLink G Router awhile ago and it wasnt as good as my Netgear WPN-824 Rev2, I guess they turned things around with the N Routers. I wont go with Linksys because i had a WRT-54GS Rev5 which was garbage.
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