A consortium of companies collaborating under the moniker “WWiSE” will submit a joint proposal to the IEEE 802.11 Task Group N (TGn), which is chartered with developing a next-generation Wi-Fi standard capable of sustaining data throughput in excess of 100Mbps. Backers of the proposal, which include Airgo Networks, Bermai, Broadcom, Conexant Systems, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments, said 802.11n is an especially important standard in the WLAN market because it will build upon and extend the capabilities of Wi-Fi.
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The proposal suggests that Wi-Fi will be capable of 100 MBit/s and was submitted in the framework of talks of the IEEE 802.11n task group (TGn), which started on July 12. The group discusses 61 different proposals to improve the speed of 802.11g.
The majority of papers were divided in groups supporting the currently used 20 MHz bandwidth (Airgo, Broadcom, Conexant, Mitsubishi, Motorola, STMicro, Texas Instruments) and groups who favor to double the bandwidth to 40 MHz (Atheros, Intel, Matsushita, Philips, Sony). Some, such as Agere, have submitted ideas to support both bandwidths.
As another interesting proposal, Agere intends to lead the 20 and 40 MHz groups together. According to the company, the proposed standard will deliver a raw data rate of 500 Mbit/s – enough even for HDTV transmissions and a significant update for high-density user environments such as corporate networks.
Agere’s 802.11n submission focuses on MIMO and wide channel bandwidths to increase transmission speeds. MIMO is a technique that increases data throughput on a single channel by creating more air paths for the data to be transmitted. Using multiple transmit and receive antennas, each path can carry a different set of data at the same frequency.
802.11n will not be an entirely new standard but rather be an extension to 802.11b/g with full backwards compatibility. When created in September of 2003, the TGn set its goal to increase Wi-Fi’s data rate to more than 100 Mbit/s from today’s 54 Mbit/s of 802.11g, a standard which was finalized in June 2003. Compared to 802.11b, approved by the IEEE in 1999 and still the most popular form of Wi-Fi networks used, the new standard should provide about 20 times more speed.