802.11 non-standard equipment

802.11 non-standard equipment

802.11 non-standard equipment is equipment that seeks to extend the Wi-Fi standard 802.11, either by implementing proprietary or draft features. Sometimes these changes may lead to incompatibilities among these extensions or with standard equipment.

Non-standard 802.11 extensions and equipment

Non-standard channel bonding

Chipmaker Atheros sells a proprietary channel bonding feature called Super G [ [http://www.super-g.com/ Atheros Super G, Atheros Super AG, Super G, Super AG, Atheros Wireless LAN, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11g, Wireless LAN ] ] for manufacturers of access points and client cards. This feature can boost network speeds up to 108 Mbit/s by using channel bonding. Also range is increased to 4x the range of 802.11g and 20x the range of 802.11b. This feature may interfere with other networks and may not support all b and g client cards. In addition, packet bursting techniques are also available in some chipsets and products which will also considerably increase speeds. This feature may not be compatible with other equipment. Broadcom, another chipmaker, developed a competing proprietary frame bursting feature called "125 High Speed Mode" [ [http://www.54g.org/about_54g_speed.php Broadcom's 125 High Speed Mode consortium] ] or Linksys "SpeedBooster", in response to criticism of Super G's interference potential.

U.S. Robotics also has a "MAXg" line of wireless products boasting 125 Mbit/s (actual throughput 35 Mbit/s) and about a 75% increase in signal range from the 802.11g standard. [ [http://www.usr.com/maxg/maxg.asp?loc=unst USRobotics presents MAXg wireless: MAXg ] ] Based on tests performed by KeyLabs on March 23, 2005 the MAXg series consistently outperformed the equivalent proprietary solutions and some of the "Draft 802.11n" solutions from other developers; more than one year before commercially available "pre N" or "Draft N" adapters. [ [http://www.usr.com/download/whitepapers/maxg-keylabs.pdf KL Final Report Template ] ]

Pre-802.11n equipment

After the announcement of the Draft 1.0 of 802.11n, many vendors announced "pre-n" transceivers and routers based upon that document. It has been reported, however, that these products can interfere with, and even disable, some current 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks. [ [http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/25104/103/ Airgo confirms "draft 11n" products will cripple neighboring 11b/g networks] - TG Daily] It is also uncertain whether products using draft versions of 802.11n will remain compatible with the finalized 802.11n standard. [ [http://news.com.com/2100-7351_3-6064605.html Wi-Fi consumers cautioned to wait on new gear] - CNET News.com]

*On 14 April 2006, the first draft 802.11n routers became commercially available from manufacturers Linksys, Netgear, Buffalo Technology, Belkin, and D-link.
*On 24 June 2006, Dell began shipping an optional "Draft N Internal Wireless" LAN card in their XPS and Inspiron laptops. These adapters use the Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset. [ [http://wifinetnews.com/archives/006759.html Dell Joins Draft N Delusion] - Wi-Fi Net News]
*In a September 2006 update to its line of iMac desktop computers, Apple reportedly began using a wireless card based on a chipset that supports Draft 802.11n. [ [http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0609imac80211n.html New iMacs sport 802.11n capabilities] - Think Secret] , but '802.11n Enabler for Mac' software (which ships with Airport Extreme from 9 January 2007) is required to enable it. Subsequent updates to the MacBook Pro in October 2006 and MacBook in November 2006 similarly included silent upgrades to Draft 802.11n-capable chipsets. [ [http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/10/20061026001358.shtml The First Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros Arrive Updated-802.11n] - Mac Rumors]
*Asus announced that they would guarantee final standard compatibility with its 802.11n draft products, either through firmware or hardware upgrades, for units purchased through 31 December 2007. [ [http://event.asus.com/2006/wireless/pren/ ASUS 802.11n Devices First to Guarantee Standard Compatibility with Upgrade Services ] ]
*Intel has been shipping draft 802.11n chips in their new Centrino/Santa Rosa chipset released in June 2007.
*Apple announced a draft 802.11n AirPort Extreme model on 9 January 2007. Apple also announced the Apple TV product which features Draft 802.11n capabilities, as well as confirming that all Intel Core 2 Duo (iMac (except 17-inch, 1.83 GHz iMac), MacBook, MacBook Pro) and Intel Xeon based Macs (Mac Pro) are draft-802.11n-capable, but require "enabler software" (included with the new AirPort Extreme or priced at $1.99 separately from Apple) to activate this ability.


ee also

*Long-range Wi-Fi

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