802.11n rush underway

There was the Gold Rush, and now there is the 802.11n rush. Marvell has partnered with Netgear to bring out a chip set complying with the draft 802.11n standard. Until now, WiFi chip set leaders Airgo Networks and Broadcom have brought out MIMO-enhanced WiFi chip sets, but without an 802.11n draft standard, both have been obliged to market the chips as being compliant with 802.11a, b and g. Now, with the draft standard having been published in March, Marvell has jumped into the market with a product designated as compliant with the draft 802.11n standard. The chip set is being used by wireless router manufacturers Netgear and D-Link in routers which claim to manage a 300 Mbps throughput. This surely is a theoretical figure, with actual throughput likely near 200 Mbps. The products range in price from $129 to $249 and will be offered both in stores and online.

Netgear is currently rolling out to stores its RangeMax Next Gigabit Edition Networking kit which includes a wireless router with 10/100/1000 switch and wireless notebook adapter, among other products. The kit, which is based on Marvell's 802.11n draft-compliant chip sets, has already passed FCC approval and retails for approximately $349.

For more on Marvell new chip:
- see eWeek's report
- and this press release

PLUS: Speaking of MIMO: Thomas McGonagle is a computer engineering professor at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and network engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration. He is an advocate for the technology's proliferation and volunteers with the Boston Wireless Task Force, which aims to build a free city-wide network. He also organizes monthly meetings for the Boston Wireless Advocacy Group. McGonagle cautions users to avoid MIMO routers. MIMO gadgets achieve excellent signal quality and range by hogging the wireless spectrum up to 219 yards away. If a user lives in the city or suburbs, his MIMO router will knock out his wireless-enabled neighbors' connections. If the neighbors also have MIMO, everyone loses their connections. MIMO also will not work with those free WiFi hotspots which are popping up in increasing numbers of cafés and libraries. ''The most useful routers are those based on the 802.11g standard," says McGonagle, whose own home router, an 802.11g, is the LinkSys WRT54G. Article

ALSO: STMicroelectronics is sampling what it describes as an "ultra-low-power," single-component 802.11a/b/g WiFi chip which operates at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz and supports both OFDM and CCK signal modulations. The highly integrated STLC4420 targets cellular and WiFi phones, PDAs, cameras, and laptop computers, according to the company. Report

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