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SMC Networks will ship Draft N devices later this year: The company will release what I continue to suggest are misguided attempts to go ahead of a reasonable finished standard for 802.11n. These Draft N devices aren’t futureproofed with guaranteed hardware swapout if needed. With a timetable of spring for Draft 2.0 certified devices, or something equivalent, I’m a little unimpressed about seeing further pre-certified-draft equipment hit hte market.
I am stunned by this statement from SMC’s product manager for this line: “SMC’s customers want speed, but they need the reliability that comes from standards-based products. IT managers can’t support technology ‘pockets’ of non-standard equipment. Our draft N products are based on the 802.11n v1.0 draft standard, so retain interoperability that will enable our users to retain more flexibility and get better functionality from their LAN and broadband connections, all the while knowing that underlying security is in place.”
This is complete and utter bull crappy. There is no method in place to assure interoperability of devices based on Draft 1.0. Chipmakers have some plans, but this claim goes beyond wishful thinking into trying to pretend a standard exists where one does. The use of the word standard is, in fact, specifically disclaimed by the IEEE, which is the group developing the standard. Draft 1.0 is incomplete and subject to significant revision.
Don’t buy the claims unless they’re backed with promises: If SMC wants to claim interoperability, they need to promise hardware swapouts if interoperability can’t be achieved. I don’t see that promise.
Posted by Glennf at October 17, 2006 12:27 PM
Categories: Draft N
It is interesting that you think true 802.11n will be so different from 802.11n draft specs.
Point to ponder:
- All laptop vendors and semiconductor vendors have already spent huge sums of money on draft n
- WiFi alliance will be certifying the draft n products next year.
- Who sits on the final 802.11n committee? Isn't it employees of all laptop/semi companies pushing for these 802.11n draft?
[Editor's note: 802.11n has a lot of disparate interests, and there's also reality to contend with. The fact is that Draft 1.0 doesn't answer all the questions about how 802.11n will work with older a/b/g networks, among other issues. Because these can't just be rubberstamped, but have to be fixed, it doesn't matter that the task group contains of companies that are releasing chips. There are a lot of other interests on the committee, including firms that want 802.11n to work as best it can regardless of early silicon.-gf]
Posted by: Matt at November 6, 2006 6:13 PM