IEEE readies launch of gigabit Wi-Fi project

Intel, Nortel, Motorola among those active in Very High Throughput Study Group

The IEEE working group that is putting the finishing touches on the 802.11n 100Mbps wireless LAN standard is about to launch a new project, for a 1Gbps WLAN standard.

That would mean gigabit Wi-Fi.

Last year, group members formed the Very High Throughput Study Group to explore changes to the 802.11 WLAN standard to support gigabit capacity. The study group is looking at doing so in two frequency bands, high-frequency 60GHz for relatively short ranges and under-6GHz for ranges similar to that today’s WLANs in the 5GHz band, 802.11a and 11n.

At a meeting this week in Hawaii, the study group has been finalizing a proposal calling for creation of a new, as yet unnamed task group to carry forward the work of crafting a standard. That proposal must be accepted by the 802.11 Working Group, which oversees the entire WLAN standard.

“The basic idea right now, and that’s subject to change, is that the ‘maximum mandatory mode’ on a single link would be [at least] 500Mbps,” says Tushar Moorti, director of systems architecture for chip maker Broadcom’s WLAN Business Unit. “But the further requirement is that [an access point] device that supports VHT would be able to sustain multiple links, so the aggregate would be over 1Gbps.”

Currently, WLAN products based on the draft 2 802.11n standard typically are providing throughput of 130M to 150Mbps, sometimes as much as 170Mbps.

“I think we’ll see a [VHT] standard in two years, and WLAN products with more than 1 gigabit per second within three years,” says Craig Mathias, principal for Farpoint Group, a wireless consultancy. “That is absolutely phenomenal.”

That may be optimistic. One version of the IEEE proposal suggests a completion target date of 2012-13 for the standard. But a lot of big players have been active in the study group so far: Atheros, Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, Motorola and Nortel.

“It’s the next-generation technology for wireless LAN, in the same sense that 11n was the follow-on to 11abg,” says Broadcom’s Moorti.

According to the proposal, VHT “will allow a corporate or home user to roam from high-throughput dense cells to wider area networks in a seamless manner, while maintaining full support for the installed base security, management, diagnostics and backbone infrastructure.” VHT will also be backward compatible with the full range of existing and emerging 802.11 standards, such as 11i for security, and 11s for mesh networking.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?