IEEE 802.11n working group approves draft 2.0

After much debate and a lot of contention among the overall IEEE membership, the all-important IEEE 802.11n working group has given its stamp of approval to the next draft version of the specification.

Temporarily dubbed draft version 1.10, it will go out as version 2.0 when it is released to the full IEEE 802.11n committee, about 400 strong, by the end of the month.

According to Bill McFarland, a member of the working group just back from the London meeting where version 1.10 was approved, all of the contending parties who caused the original delays appear to be satisfied.

This includes the handset and handheld manufacturers who wanted more consideration given to low power consumption and VOIP capabilities, consumer electronics manufacturers who wanted the standard to accommodate more than access points, and the major hardware network and chip manufacturers who wanted to put the 802.11n spec on a fast track to approval.

Manufacturers like Atheros, Intel, and Apple and their customers will be happy to hear that version 1.10 is compatible with the pre-802.11n products they have already created.

"It will only require a minor firmware upgrade for complete compatibility," said McFarland.