802.11n Moves Closer To Ratification

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Infoworld reports that the IEEE 802.11n working group has approved draft version 1.10 of the high-performance wireless networking specification. The draft specification will strive to play better with legacy 2.4 GHz devices, but minimize the impact on existing draft-802.11n compliant equipment including Apple's recently updated Airport Extreme and Macs that include 802.11n capable networking cards.

    The version will be released to the full 802.11n committee by the end of the month as draft version 2.0, although at least one more draft is expected before final approval (expected in October 2008).
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    mdntcallr

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    #2
    WOW, yay! finally real certified products will be on way!!

    Let's hope they actually work together. not just one manufacturers with same co's.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    dernhelm

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    #3
    Just ordered a new Airport extreme. Sure hope it is as simple as a firmware flash for full compatibility, or I'll be a little ticked off...
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    miketcool

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    #4
    So the FCC can approve draft devices? As in the draft is more of a reference to the IEEE 802.11 group?

    Bring on them faster cancer waves!
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #5
    Wow this sure is taking long. October 2008?? Yikes well at least theyre coming along.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #6
    Wasn't the "Pre-G" stuff from a few years ago ultimately incompatible with the current ratified "G" standard on the market today? I have vague memories of a lot of pissed off people who bought "Pre-G" stuff...
     
  7. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #7
    my thoughts as well! slowly but surely.....
     
  8. macrumors member

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    October 2008?

    I'm also surprised at how long it will take. Can anyone who actually knows something about this stuff, explain why it takes so long?

    Just wondering
     
  9. macrumors G4

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    #9
    You mean explain it in more detail then the linked Computer World article?

    The real reason is this: Have you ever read one of these specs? They need to be printed and mailed out and people need a long time to read them, weeks or months and there are still a few cycles of this process.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    #10

    *COUGH* rev-a stuff sucks *COUGH*

    Early adopters (with electronics) = screwed somehow
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    #11
    Bravo to Apple for once again picking a winning format before it was guaranteed to become the standard. It's about time that the 802.11 group moved to ratify n!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    OwlsAndApples

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    #12
    Groan...2008 being talked about already! :)
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    richard4339

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    #13
    Here's is the exact, word for word explanation from TFA.

     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #14
    Any PCI 802.11 N cards

    With :apple: TV I may want to boot my G4's wifi. Any PCI cards out there?
     
  15. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #15
    You would think that the IEEE of all people would be advanced enough to conduct their reviews and balloting in a fast, efficient and computerized manner. What's with all this mailing of stuff, anyhow?

    Although I guess it has more to do with politicking between companies than anything...
     
  16. macrumors member

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    Powerbook G4 compatible

    Anyone know if Powerbook G4's can get an "n" card or do I have to buy a MBP or MB. I want to get the new Airport Extreme Base Station due to the increased range and signal.
     
  17. macrumors P6

    Peace

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  18. macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

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    #18
    Hold on everyone! Don't pay for the pre-n firmware upgrade now from Apple - Save your money for when they charge you for the ratified n firmware upgrade that this will require!!!!111!!11 :p
     
  19. macrumors regular

    BuzWeaver

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    #19
    Just an additional note and you may have seen this too:

    http://news.com.com/2100-1044_3-6152489.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-5&subj=news
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Porchland

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    #20
    802.11n for Dummies...

    Somebody set me straight:

    802.11n has about 200 megabits/second of throughput vs. 802.11g's 24 megabits/second of throughput. So 802.11n will give you roughly eight times the throughput of 802.11g.

    Comcast advertises download speeds of up to 6 megabits/second, so 802.11g is about 4 times faster than commercial internet and 802.11n is about 30 times faster than commercial internet.

    1. Is all of that right?

    2. If so, why would I want to update my 802.11g at home (other than MORE!) to 802.11n if my wireless is already four times faster than my internet connection? Is the internet about to get faster? Does this have any practical application beyond streaming HD?
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    shamino

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    #21
    Moving closer to ratification? Sounds like it moved further away. The publication date is now October 2008. When I checked the IEEE timetable last week, it was April 2008. Sounds to me like they slipped their schedule by 6 months.
    There are many reasons, but the biggest one is that a spec like 802.11 isn't something you can come up with by simply discussing it in a big room.

    Working group members may come up with all kinds of interesting ideas, but once that is done, they have to go and test those ideas. This means building prototype hardware and software, and running lots of tests. This could take several months to complete.

    And once you get something that you think is good, you have to convince the voting members of the working group. They may have other ideas, which may be better or worse than your own. In the case of the 802.11 working group, they have meetings, every two months, where group members can present papers and promote/defend their ideas.

    I don't think there can be a way to speed up the process. Without the extensive testing, you'll end up with flaky specs. And without consensus, each vendor will end up shipping an incompatible product.
    IEEE documents are all available for download (but only for free if you are a member of the working group - everyone else has to pay.) Yes, they are huge and require a lot of careful reading, but that's hardly the only reason for a slow process.

    The biggest reason is that designing stuff like a 540Mbps WiFi link isn't easy. We're talking about speeds that were considered impossible over fiber-optics only a few short years ago. There is no obvious solution, so you get a lot of companies proposing a lot of different ideas. It takes time to come up with a workable, stable solution and to then gain consensus within the working group.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #22
    1. So you can stream audio and video content.
    2. Better range and less interference.
     
  23. macrumors member

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    #23
    If you only have one computer connected to the internet, than perhaps you would not want to upgrade to n. On the other hand, if you have more than one computer and share data between the two (any type of data, not just HD), than the faster n standard would be beneficial.

    Also, don't forget that the n standard will provide twice the range of G. So even if you only have one computer, you may want to upgrade simply for the increased freedom of improved range.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    shamino

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    #24
    This is based on some real-world estimates, yes.

    The specs talk about maximum speeds of 540Mbps for 802.11n and 54Mbps for 802.11g, which is a 10x speedup. But these are under ideal conditions, and I don't think anybody shipping a pre-n device today supports 540Mbps.
    Well, faster than what Comcast advertises. You can get internet access much faster than 6Mbps if you want to pay for it. My employer has a 10Mbps (metro Ethernet, I think) link. I know of companies that lease T3 lines (about 45Mbps.)
    If all you do is access the internet over WiFi, then no, there's no good reason to upgrade.

    But many people (including myself) have a LAN at home. Between myself and various friends who visit, there may be anywhere between 6 and 10 computers on my home LAN. They don't just access the internet. They also access each other. When I need to copy large amounts of data (say, 2GB MPEG video clips, or a directory full of AAC files), I can save a lot of time using a high speed link.

    Today, when I need to transfer stuff like this between my PowerMac and my iBook, I always use an Ethernet cable. The 100M (full duplex, via a switch) is substantially faster than 802.11g WiFi (top speed of 54Mbps, shared by all other wireless nodes, and with the overhead of encryption.)

    And, as you say, streaming video is going to start coming to people's homes real soon now. Devices like Apple TV use up a lot of bandwidth within your home, regardless of what your internet connection's speed may be.
     
  25. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #25
    It's likely there will be / are 802.11n USB 2.0 adapters. If you have a 15" or 17" powerbook, PC Card options also exist.

    The harder issue to assess is the availability of OS X drivers for them....
     

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