Fast Wi-Fi standard set to splinter

Just when we thought the fast Wi-Fi standard was well underway, it looks like the big chip-makers are about to undermine an agreement in the IEEE.

Intel, Broadcom, Atheros and Marvell have formed an alliance to work on a MAC for fast Wi-Fi, which will be presented to the IEEE in November, at the same time as the official IEEE 802.11n fast Wi-Fi task group is due to report, according to a story in EE Times.

Intel and the rest have not explained the move in any detail, but are already being accused of trying to take over the IEEE process, even to the extent of allegedly violating anti-trust laws -- by excluding other players such as Airgo, which makes the only widely adopted chips in the market which use MIMO technology intended to double Wi-Fi speeds.

Airgo's party in the IEEE standards process, WWISE, threw in its lot with Intel's TGnSynch proposal, in a truce in July.

Working groups that meet outside the IEEE's process are a legitimate approach to sorting out technical details before an IEEE deadline -- and have been widely used in efforts to create standards before. However, this group is raising questions, because it appears to ignore Airgo despite its lead in the market.

One industry insider predicted that the current storm was based on Airgo "mouthing off", and predicted it would blow over because the group's actual proposals would eventually have to come before the IEEE and face scrutiny.

"The 802.11 brand has a lot of cachet," said IEEE 802 chairman Bob Heile. "A non-IEEE solution would have a big uphill battle."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Judge
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?