Helping Define IEEE 802.11 and other Wireless LAN Standards IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks Intel is a longtime contributor to the IEEE 802.11 standard, a group of specifications developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless local area networks (WLANs). Much of the current work on IEEE 802.11 centers on increasing transmission speeds and range, improving Quality of Service (QoS), and adding new capabilities. Now that IEEE 802.11n, the latest version of IEEE 802.11, is shipping in volume, the focus is on even faster solutions, specifically IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11ad. These amendments aim to provide gigabit speed WLAN. The difference is their Quality of Service (QoS) frequencies. IEEE 802.11ac will deliver its throughput In computer networking, QoS doesn’t over the 5 GHz band, affording easy migration from IEEE refer to achieved service quality— 802.11n, which also uses 5 GHz band (as well as the 2.4 though it plays an important role in it. band). IEEE 802.11ad, targeting shorter range Instead, QoS is about using resource reservation control mechanisms to give transmissions, will use the unlicensed 60 GHz band. different priority to different applications, users, or data flows to ensure a certain Through range improvements and faster wireless level of performance. For example, a transmissions, IEEE 802.11ac and ad will: particular bit rate, along with limits on delay, jitter, and packet dropping  Improve the performance of high definition TV probability and/or bit error rate, may be (HDTV) and digital video streams in the home and guaranteed for a real‐time streaming advanced applications in enterprise networks multimedia application such as an online  Help businesses reduce capital expenditures by game or video. For such delay‐sensitive applications, QoS guarantees are freeing them from the cost of laying and important, when network capacity is maintaining Ethernet cabling insufficient for all the concurrent data  Increase the reach and performance of hotspots flow (i.e., the video and other less  Allow connections to handle more clients sensitive applications such as email and web browsing).  Improve overall user experience where and whenever people are connected The IEEE 802.11 Working Group (WG) consists of individuals who are experts in wireless technology and includes a number of Intel employees. Intel sees IEEE 802.11 as vital to continuing to improve and expand the wireless experience of many devices using its products. This case study takes a brief look at the history of IEEE 802.11, current efforts to improve the standard, and potential improvements in the future. A short history of IEEE 802.11 802.11, or “Wi‐Fi” as it is popularly known, sprang into Did you know? existence as a result of a decision in 1985 by the United The term "Wi‐Fi" was invented by the organization now known as the Wi‐Fi States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Alliance. The term "IEEE 802.11b‐ open several bands of the wireless spectrum for use compliant" was considered too long and without a government license. These so‐called "garbage hard for consumers to remember for bands" were allocated to equipment such as microwave consumers. "Wi‐Fi" meant nothing at the ovens which use radio waves to heat food. To operate in time, but sounded like "hi‐fi," a familiar electronics term. Later, the meaning "wireless fidelity" was attached to Wi‐Fi.1

Helping Define IEEE 802.11 and other Wireless LAN Standards 
IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks 
Intel is a longtime contributor to the IEEE 802.11 standard, a group of specifications developed 
by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless local area networks 
(WLANs). Much of the current work on IEEE 802.11 centers on increasing transmission speeds 
and range, improving Quality of Service (QoS), and adding new capabilities. 
Now that IEEE 802.11n, the latest version of IEEE 802.11, is shipping in volume, the focus is on 
even faster solutions, specifically IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11ad. These amendments aim to 
provide gigabit speed WLAN. The difference is their Quality of Service (QoS) 
frequencies. IEEE 802.11ac will deliver its throughput In computer networking, QoS doesn’t 
over the 5 GHz band, affording easy migration from IEEE refer to achieved service quality— 
802.11n, which also uses 5 GHz band (as well as the 2.4 though it plays an important role in it. 
band). IEEE 802.11ad, targeting shorter range Instead, QoS is about using resource 
reservation control mechanisms to give 
transmissions, will use the unlicensed 60 GHz band. different priority to different applications, 
users, or data flows to ensure a certain 
Through range improvements and faster wireless level of performance. For example, a 
transmissions, IEEE 802.11ac and ad will: particular bit rate, along with limits on 
delay, jitter, and packet dropping 
 Improve the performance of high definition TV probability and/or bit error rate, may be 
(HDTV) and digital video streams in the home and guaranteed for a real‐time streaming 
advanced applications in enterprise networks multimedia application such as an online 
 Help businesses reduce capital expenditures by game or video. For such delay‐sensitive 
applications, QoS guarantees are 
freeing them from the cost of laying and important, when network capacity is 
maintaining Ethernet cabling insufficient for all the concurrent data 
 Increase the reach and performance of hotspots flow (i.e., the video and other less 
 Allow connections to handle more clients sensitive applications such as email and 
web browsing). 
 Improve overall user experience where and 
whenever people are connected 
The IEEE 802.11 Working Group (WG) consists of individuals who are experts in wireless 
technology and includes a number of Intel employees. Intel sees IEEE 802.11 as vital to 
continuing to improve and expand the wireless experience of many devices using its products. 
This case study takes a brief look at the history of IEEE 802.11, current efforts to improve the 
standard, and potential improvements in the future. 
A short history of IEEE 802.11 
802.11, or “Wi‐Fi” as it is popularly known, sprang into Did you know? 
existence as a result of a decision in 1985 by the United The term

Helping Define IEEE 802.11 and other Wireless LAN Standards IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks Intel is a longtime contributor to the IEEE 802.11 standard, a group of specifications developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless local area networks (WLANs). Much of the current work on IEEE 802.11 centers on increasing transmission speeds and range, improving Quality of Service (QoS), and adding new capabilities. Now that IEEE 802.11n, the latest version of IEEE 802.11, is shipping in volume, the focus is on even faster solutions, specifically IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11ad. These amendments aim to provide gigabit speed WLAN. The difference is their Quality of Service (QoS) frequencies. IEEE 802.11ac will deliver its throughput In computer networking, QoS doesn’t over the 5 GHz band, affording easy migration from IEEE refer to achieved service quality— 802.11n, which also uses 5 GHz band (as well as the 2.4 though it plays an important role in it. band). IEEE 802.11ad, targeting shorter range Instead, QoS is about using resource reservation control mechanisms to give transmissions, will use the unlicensed 60 GHz band. different priority to different applications, users, or data flows to ensure a certain Through range improvements and faster wireless level of performance. For example, a transmissions, IEEE 802.11ac and ad will: particular bit rate, along with limits on delay, jitter, and packet dropping  Improve the performance of high definition TV probability and/or bit error rate, may be (HDTV) and digital video streams in the home and guaranteed for a real‐time streaming advanced applications in enterprise networks multimedia application such as an online  Help businesses reduce capital expenditures by game or video. For such delay‐sensitive applications, QoS guarantees are freeing them from the cost of laying and important, when network capacity is maintaining Ethernet cabling insufficient for all the concurrent data  Increase the reach and performance of hotspots flow (i.e., the video and other less  Allow connections to handle more clients sensitive applications such as email and web browsing).  Improve overall user experience where and whenever people are connected The IEEE 802.11 Working Group (WG) consists of individuals who are experts in wireless technology and includes a number of Intel employees. Intel sees IEEE 802.11 as vital to continuing to improve and expand the wireless experience of many devices using its products. This case study takes a brief look at the history of IEEE 802.11, current efforts to improve the standard, and potential improvements in the future. A short history of IEEE 802.11 802.11, or “Wi‐Fi” as it is popularly known, sprang into Did you know? existence as a result of a decision in 1985 by the United The term "Wi‐Fi" was invented by the organization now known as the Wi‐Fi States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Alliance. The term "IEEE 802.11b‐ open several bands of the wireless spectrum for use compliant" was considered too long and without a government license. These so‐called "garbage hard for consumers to remember for bands" were allocated to equipment such as microwave consumers. "Wi‐Fi" meant nothing at the ovens which use radio waves to heat food. To operate in time, but sounded like "hi‐fi," a familiar electronics term. Later, the meaning "wireless fidelity" was attached to Wi‐Fi.1

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, ...demonstrating 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.

Read the full Helping Define 802.11n and Other Wireless LAN Standards.

Related Videos