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Another Chipmaker Jumps On 802.11n Bandwagon

A third chipmaker, Atheros Communications, said Monday that it is offering wireless LAN chipsets based on the draft next-generation 802.11n Wi-Fi standard.

A IEEE working group last week approved a draft 802.11n specification, which will give Ethernet and faster speeds to wireless LANs as well as increase range compared to current 802.11g and 802.11a networks. Friday, Broadcom and Marvell said they are starting to offer chipsets to WLAN equipment vendors and, Monday, Atheros joined the parade.

Atheros said that its XSPAN chipsets will provide real-world data throughput speeds of 150 Mbps to 180 Mbps with significantly greater range. That will enable applications such as video and voice as well as data, Atheros said, echoing the claims of its competitors.

While the draft specification clears the way to eventual ratification of the new standard, official adoption isn't expected until at least later this year. After adoption, interoperability tests must be performed before equipment is certified as adhering to the new standard. Such products are not expected before early next year.