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802.11n Deal Imminent, Says Broadcom Exec

MADRID, Spain – The logjam that has delayed agreement on the IEEE 802.11n high data-rate WLAN standard will be broken soon, and a standard agreed by the middle of next year, a senior executive from Broadcom Corp. told the World Broadband Forum.

Michael Hurlston, vice president of the communications chip company’s wireless and home networking business unit, also suggested there would be interoperable products on the market soon after.

Speaking to EE Times after the session comparing different technologies that are vying for distributing video over home networks – such as powerline, Home PNA, coax and Wi-Fi, Hurlston said the standardization effort is “plagued by difficult issues and far too much politics”, but said Broadcom is optimistic discussions between the competing groups, WWiSE and TGn Sync would come up with a solution.

“If people go off and develop a subset of the standard outside of the IEEE 802.11 working groups, the end game would be to bring back such as splinter group into the fold,” said Hurlston.

He was referring to suggestions that Intel Corp, Atheros Communications Inc and Marvell Semiconductors, and including Broadcom itself, have linked on an interoperable physical and media access controller layer and plan to submit this to the IEEE by November.

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