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Craig Mathias of Farpoint has been one of the most sensible analysts on the subject of 802.11n and Wi-Fi: He’s now happy with the direction of the market, and things that 802.11n has become mature in a non-traditional sense. Most of the elements have been in products for almost four years, he writes, and the Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification process will put the icing on the cake for compatibility. With corporate products already announced, that puts a faster track on enterprise adoption, too. He thinks adoption in the consumer and corporate space will happen sooner than later.
Very positive review of the revised Draft N flagship from Linksys: The 350N is a single-band, 2.4 GHz, Draft N router with gigabit Ethernet and a USB jack for shared network storage. It runs just above $150.
Despite the lack of standard, real revenue: I think the driver for Draft N’s early versions, which Dell’Oro group counts from second quarter 2006, was distance, not speed. However, other, cheaper devices were already on the market that offered range. Go figure.
The Wi-Fi Alliance still targets late June for completion of its certification of Draft N devices: Equipment that conforms to Draft 2.0 from the 802.11 Task Group N as tested through a suite developed by the alliance will be able to display a new logo that incorporates the Draft N motif. Atheros, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Marvell, and Ralink provided reference designs that were part of the certification process. These products are now Draft N certified, but they’re reference designs—they can’t be purchased. Rather, the changes to these designs to reach interoperability will now filter out from the chipmakers to their OEM partners, the companies that make end user gear, like Apple, Buffalo, Linksys, and others. These OEM devices will then, in turn, receive certification as they update the firmware necessary to achieve that state and submit their equipment for testing.
D-Link updates its Draft N product line to Draft 2.0 of the specification: This is the first announced firmware release of many expected for the existing draft 802.11n or Draft N product lines from companies like Apple, Buffalo, Linksys, and many others. Draft 2.0 is currently being used as the basis of an interim certification for 802.11n by the Wi-Fi Alliance that should see certified products by June.