Chip consortium gets wise with 802.11n

Sun, 08/15/2004 - 8:00pm
Karen Brown

A group of technology vendors plans to submit a joint proposal for the new Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 802.11n standard that could lead to wireless connections running upwards of 100 Megabits per second.

The coalition, including Texas Instruments Inc., STMicroelectronics, Conexant Systems Inc. and Broadcom Corp., among others, will submit a scheme dubbed WWiSE to the IEEE task group working to gel the 802.11n standard. The consortium's proposal is based on Multiple Input Multiple Output, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.

"WWiSE" stands for worldwide spectrum efficiency, emphasizing that it will be suitable for global deployment and backward-compatible with other Wi-Fi 802.11 wireless standards, according to the consortium.

The proposal also offers a royalty-free license option from the WWiSE companies. Such license options are designed to facilitate the worldwide deployment of 802.11n technology.

WWiSE will use the existing 20 Megahertz channel format used in Wi-Fi products in the market today to deliver a maximum 130 Mbps connection, with an option for a 40 MHz channel able to produce a 540 Mbps connection. The proposed specification will also use the 5 Gigahertz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands already used by older Wi-Fi siblings 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g.

The WWiSE members have agreed to IP licensing for the scheme, using standard Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) terms. If the WWiSE proposal is selected as the 802.11n standard, the companies have also agreed that reciprocal RAND-Z licenses offering zero royalties for the essential IP technology will be made available upon request.

The coalition has set up a Web site to provide information on the proposed specification at


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