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Update: 60GHz group opposes Gbit Wi-Fi plan

Posted: 18 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:60GHz? Gbit Wi-Fi standard? WLAN?

The initiative to create a standards group to define a Gbit/s version of Wi-Fi is getting a significant push back from a separate group that sees conflict with its work in the 60GHz space.

The IEEE 802.15 committee passed a motion July 14 asking the management of IEEE 802 group, which oversees Ethernet standards, to vote against a proposal to start a new effort to define a Gbit version of Wi-Fi.

The 802.15.3c subcommittee is drafting a standard for wireless links that could deliver multiple Gbit/s over 60GHz. Members believe the so-called Very High Throughput (VHT) proposal to create a Gbit version of Wi-Fi running at 60GHz is not significantly different from their work, which is already in an early draft stage.

The .15 group asked the VHT group to revise its proposal for its review. Both groups are meeting as part of a regularly scheduled 802 plenary session in Denver this week.

The VHT group hopes to win support for a proposal this week so it can officially begin drafting a standard for a new version of Wi-Fi that would act as a follow on to the current .11n products shipping today. For its part, the .3c group is reviewing results on a first ballot on its initial draft for a spec that some companies hope could be used to send uncompressed video between wall-mounted displays and STBs at rates up to 4Gbit/s.

Common ground
So far, the .15 group has raised several specific issues. The VHT backers have responded to each point, making concessions on a number of fronts in the latest draft of its proposal.

The .15 members have asked the Wi-Fi group to adopt its PHY chip specification or at least provide a mechanism to detect and avoid .15 signals. The VHT group said it would study both using the .15 PHY and defining a coexistence mechanism for all 60GHz networks. It also agreed to continue conference calls on the issue with 15.3c members that started in June.

The .15 proponents have also asked VHT members provide more specifics on how their approach is unique.

VHT backers said their spec would be different than .3c in two ways. It will let users quickly fallback from 60GHz to 5 or 2.4GHz 802.11n networks when needed. It will also support compatibility with the existing 802.11 services, access points and base stations as well as its management features such as association, authentication and security.

One 15.3c member asked the VHT group to admit in its proposal it has a similar scope to the .3c work. The VHT members refused that request stating, "VHT60 is proposing an amendment to 802.11 providing increased throughput to WLAN. "This is a different scope," according to documents on discussions between the groups.

The 802 management is expected to vote today on whether or not it will approve the VHT's proposal.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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