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Interoperability is not forward compatibility nor a promise of such: The two key chipmakers said they’ve conducted interoperability testing between their Draft N chips, and were able to achieve speeds over 100 Mbps using mandatory Draft 1.0 elements. The release skirts critical issues: First, it doesn’t claim the chips tested are the ones in manufacturers’ devices, although this is probable. Second, it doesn’t identify whether firmware tested is rolled out to their OEMs and then the OEMs’ end users. Third, this doesn’t guarantee upgradability via firmware to the final version of 802.11n.
I don’t deny the validity of the testing. It’s perfectly reasonable, and a nice assurance. But it’s not proven out in real-world testing of current Draft N gear and it’s a smokescreen over the real issue that this equipment is being released well in advance of accord on the standard to which it affirms to comply. Draft N is not a standard. It’s a working draft.
Wi-Fi Planet’s Eric Griffith adds some insight, including a note that Azimuth Systems, a wireless testing equipment vendor, has updated its MIMO test to offer Draft N testing.
Posted by Glennf at May 31, 2006 10:07 AM
Categories: Draft N