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Recent Entries

Metalink Puts 802.11n in Set-Top Box
Dual-Band, Two-Radio Buffalo Router Reviewed
802.11n Slated for April 2009 Completion
Draft 2.0 Passes
Asus Adds More Draft N-Equipped Laptops
I've Bought Some Draft N Gear

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« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

March 19, 2007

Metalink Puts 802.11n in Set-Top Box

By Glenn Fleishman

Samsung STMicroelectronics, and Metalink have a box for you: The box isn’t the first such deal announced by Metalink, but it’s with the leading set-top box maker and video decoder chipmaker. The 802.11n part would allow digital video at HD resolutions to stream around the home. The three companies demoed the box at CeBIT in Germany this week, a trade show. The set-top box would decode video directly from cable or satellite, and probably be capable of recording programs. Production should start in third quarter 2007; the boxes aren’t sold to consumers, but bundled by programming providers.

Posted by Glennf at 1:10 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2007

Dual-Band, Two-Radio Buffalo Router Reviewed

By Glenn Fleishman

Tim Higgins takes apart the Buffalo Wireless-N Nfiniti Dual Band with gigabit Ethernet over at SmallNetBuilder: As Higgins notes in his review, even though dual-band Draft N routers are on the market, Buffalo’s is the first with two distinct radio mechanisms that allow simultaneous use of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This version isn’t yet compliant with Draft 1.10 approved in January, nor Draft 2.0, approved yesterday. The mechanisms for co-existence with older 802.11b/g networks in 2.4 GHz just isn’t there yet, and a lot of other small problems, like a lack of automatic downshifting from 40 MHz to 20 MHz, cause problems with range.

The gigabit Ethernet even seems to be a problem, with a bottleneck in LAN to WAN routing: Higgins saw just 200 Mbps of throughput in testing over Ethernet to Ethernet. When I tested the AirPort Extreme Base Station, I was able to achieve just 60 Mbps on their 100 Mbps Ethernet LAN-to-WAN or WAN-to-LAN bridge. Intra-LAN was 94 Mbps with Ethernet.

The unit costs $250 and it’s the only thing on the market to have its distinct set of features. But Higgins’s takeaway is that it’s not time to buy it or any Draft N gear because he wants Draft 1.10/2.0 to be implemented in firmware before making that determination. Based on this review, that’s a reasonable stance because the weak areas in the device seem to have already be worked out in the draft, and a more mature version of the firmware could solve other problems.

Posted by Glennf at 9:46 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2007

802.11n Slated for April 2009 Completion

By Glenn Fleishman

Revised timeline from the IEEE: The final, final, final version now expected to be approved April 2009. This doesn’t really affect anything, given that the drafts are moving along. But it’s a far cry from Sept. 2008, which was the previous target. It looks like Nov. 2007 is the target for the next major revision. Little significant is now expected to change. It’s just a long formal process ahead.

False alarm! It’s bad graphic design. It’s Sept. 2008 for final approval and Oct. 2008 for publication. You have to read along the bottom.

Posted by Glennf at 5:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

Draft 2.0 Passes

By Glenn Fleishman

There is joy in IEEE-land tonight: The 75-percent supermajority required for the larger 802.11 group to approve the Task Group N Draft 2.0 was reached in a single round of letter (mailed) ballots. 325 voters in the 802.11 Working Group were eligible to vote; 306 did; 231 approved the ballot (83.4 percent). It’s now all clean-up of that draft, rather than any chance of additional substantive changes. Because Draft N is in silicon, there’s little likelihood of unforeseen technical problems now, too.

The earlier vote that approved Draft 1.10 to move forward into Draft 2 was 100 to 0 with a few abstentions, but that was a vote of Task Group N by itself.

Matthew Gast, a voting member, reports that there are 3,163 comments to resolve, including duplicates, with a bit more than half being technical remarks. Matthew notes the draft hasn’t per se passed, but as the voting goes into more and more formal realms, the odds of anything changing become lower and lower.

Posted by Glennf at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 1, 2007

Asus Adds More Draft N-Equipped Laptops

By Glenn Fleishman

Asus rolls out Intel’s Draft N technology into several models: The laptop maker will include the Draft N adapter in the S6Fm, V1Jp, VX2, W2P, and W6Fp models.

Posted by Glennf at 1:17 PM | Comments (0)

I've Bought Some Draft N Gear

By Glenn Fleishman

Let me alert you all that I have, in fact, bought some Draft N gear: While I advise those that don’t quite need the speed and range of Draft N to hold off a wee bit longer for firmware upgrades and price drops, I have to test this stuff on a regular basis. I’ve purchased an AirPort Extreme Base Station (2007), and just bought a Dell laptop with Vista preinstalled and the Intel Draft N adapter. I’ll let you know what I think of the former; I reviewed the AirPort Extreme for Macworld a couple weeks ago.

Posted by Glennf at 1:14 PM | Comments (0)