Intel and 802.11: Helping Define 802.11n and other Wireless LAN Standards

Helping Define 802.11n and other Wireless LAN Standards

IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks

Intel is working with standards leaders on ratifying 802.11n, a new faster version of the 802.11 standard. Ratification is expected in December 2009 and publication in early 2010. Products are already on the market adhering to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s* 802.11n draft 2.0 certification, demonst...rating the wellspring of support for this upcoming standard.

Did You Know? The term "Wi-Fi" was the invention of what is now called the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA—formerly known as the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance). The WFA decided the term "IEEE 802.11b-compliant" was too long and hard for consumers looking for certified products to remember. "Wi-Fi" meant nothing at the time, but sounded like "hi-fi," a familiar term to consumers. Later on, the meaning "wireless fidelity" was attached to "Wi-Fi.

02.11 is a group of specifications developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) for wireless local area networks (WLANs). These specifications define an over-the-air interface between a wireless client and a base station (or access point), or between two or more wireless clients. Known more popularly as Wi-Fi*, 802.11 has taken the world by storm. According to data released by the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat, Wi-Fi chipset sales were estimated at 300 million units for 2007. This milestone represents a 41 percent growth rate from 2006, in which 213 million chipsets were shipped. In-Stat predicts that by 2011 approximately 700 million devices will ship with Wi-Fi on board. Nearly 50 percent of the chipsets sold in 2008 are predicted to adhere to the 802.11n draft standard. ABI research forecasts that by 2013 more than 90 percent of Wi-Fi products will support 802.11n.

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