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Rival Camps Close To Deal On High-Speed Wireless LANs

Two groups that have been dueling within the 802.11n high-speed wireless LAN task group have agreed to formulate a joint proposal to end their stalemate.
MANHASSET, N.Y. — The WWiSE and TGn Sync camps that have been dueling within the 802.11n high-speed wireless LAN task group have agreed to formulate a joint proposal to end their stalemate.

The IEEE 802.11n group is tasked with defining the standard for the next generation of wireless LANs with throughputs of up to 200 Mbits/s. While the group started with four main proposals, it quickly dropped to two: one from TGn Sync, led by Agere, Intel and Atheros; and another from WWiSE, led by Conexant, Broadcom, Airgo and Texas Instruments.

Initially, the main disputes revolved around the licensing of intellectual property and whether the channels should be 20- or 40-MHz wide. The WWiSE camp preferred to keep the channel widths to 20 MHz with 40 MHz optional, while the TGn Sync camp preferred full 40-MHz channels.

In the past few months, however, differences narrowed, particularly when the WWiSE group dropped its zero-royalty stance when Motorola joined its camp. Still, the task group could not reach a consensus. During it most recent meeting, the TGn Sync proposal was the lead proposal but it failed to reach the 75 percent majority needed for ratification. Hence, the group moved to again include the WWiSE proposal.

The two camps have since started work toward a joint proposal that they hope to submit at the next meeting in San Francisco from July 17 to 22. There, they hope to reach the needed 75 percent vote needed for approval.

"This is a good idea and it is good for the industry," said Jim Zyren, executive director of Wireless and Residential Gateway Access Products for Conexant Systems Inc. (Newport Beach, Calif.). Zyren confirmed the joint effort was underway and said that while no decisions have been made, the WWiSE group was open to suggestions that would bring about a resolution of the dispute.