Wireless-N finalization ‘close’

Deep throats in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are suggesting that the current Wireless-N (or 802.11n Draft) specification is going to be finalized in September.

Writing in his blog Mathew Gast, who is a member of the board, said that most of the work is already done. If it does arrive in September it means that it has taken more than seven years for the standard to become finalized.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which tests and certifies wireless networking products to ensure their interoperability, said that it will not change the baseline requirements of its 802.11n certification program. In fact it plans to make only small optional additions to address the finalization of the 802.11n standard.

The updated test program will preserve interoperability with more than 600 Wi-Fi-certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products released since June 2007, while adding testing for some optional features now included in the final standard.

Optional features to be tested in the final standard include packet aggregation (A-MPDU), to make data transfers more efficient, Space-time Block Coding (STBC), to improve performance in some environments, better 40MHz operation and testing for devices supporting three spatial streams. Once the spec has been finalised any Wi-Fi-certified wireless product should be able to work.

Vendors who have got Wi-Fi-certified draft 2.0 products will be eligible to use the approved 802.11n logo without retesting. 802.11n draft 2.0 products have been popular across consumer and enterprise markets even though the standard has not been finalized.