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802.11n Wi-Fi draft fails first letter ballot

Posted: 05 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:John Walko? IEEE802.11n? Wi-Fi?

The first vote by members of the IEEE 802.11 working group on Draft 1.0 failed to reach the 75 percent majority required for acceptance.

According to the press release, the draft also failed to garner a simple majority, with only 46.6 percent voting in favor of moving the draft to the next step in the IEEE process. Companies on different side of the argument were quick to suggest that the whole process is either broken, or all part and parcel of the standardization process, and the vote was as expected.

According to Airgo Networks CEO Greg Raleigh: "Today's outcome proves that draft 1.0 was not as stable as some in the industry would have us believe. It calls into question the validity of so-called 'draft n' products. Airgo will continue to pursue its strategy of waiting until a more mature, stable draft is established before introducing products that comply."

Raleigh also stressed the outcome is in line with recent reports that have highlighted the poor interoperability and inferior performance of such products.

Meanwhile, Atheros Communications played down the significance of the result of the first ballot, which it said was "as expected." The company noted that in the history of all 802.11 standards it is extremely rare for a first draft to succeed in its first letter ballot.

"Task Group N (TGn) will now review all submitted comments. The time schedule for the completion/ratification of the 802.11n standard has not changed. The IEEE membership had assumed that the draft specification would not pass after the first letter ballot, and took this step into consideration when developing the process timeline. A ratified 802.11n standard is still on track for mid-2007," Atheros said in a statement.

"The 1.0 draft specification is still the one and only working draft," said Atheros CTO Bill McFarland. "The bar for the final 802.11n standard is set very high and we will go through several more ballots. A 'No' vote at this stage does not indicate that there will be radical changes to the standard."

- John Walko
EE Times

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