Archive for July, 2009

Stick a fork in 802.11n, it’s almost done!

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Last week, the IEEE 802.11 working group met in San Francisco. Activity on the long-awaited 802.11n standard has been slowly moving through the process for several meetings now. On Friday, we took what is likely to be the final step as the 802.11 working group. We held our final approval vote, requesting that higher layers of the IEEE 802 group approve 11n for publication.

The vote felt somewhat anti-climactic. In a lightly discussed and debated motion to send the 802.11n draft onward, 53 members (including your correspondent) voted in favor, 1 voted against , and 6 abstained.

Following the working group’s approval, the IEEE 802 executive committee voted unanimously (14 for, none against or abstaining) to send 802.11n to “RevCom,” the IEEE Standards Board Review Committee. The IEEE Standards Board next meets on September 11, 2009.

In an interesting twist, September 11 is a date relevant to the history of 802.11n. Bruce Kraemer, the long-time chair of Task Group N and the current chair of the 802.11 working group, noted that the first meeting of the “High Throughput Study Group,” the precursor to TGn, was September 11, 2002.

If approved, the 802.11n effort will have taken exactly seven years, at least by one measure. We are a long way from the first time 802.11n passed the 75% threshold.

The 802.11 working group is already working on the next step. Two task groups (TGac and TGad) are researching and debating methods to create gigabit-capable physical layers.