802.11n finally became an official, finalized protocol in mid-September
, and already the Wi-Fi Alliance is making sure that new wares abide by the new standards. Granted, draft-N gear is still good to go, but the new certification program takes a few other points into account.
The new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n program takes the place of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 program, which is actually a whopping two-years old already. The updated program adds testing for some popular optional features now more widely available in Wi-Fi equipment, the details of which are below:
The updated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n program maintains the requirements of
the draft 2.0 program and adds testing for some new optional features,
- Test support for simultaneous transmission of up to three spatial streams
- Packet aggregation (A-MPDU), to make data transfers more efficient
- Space-time Block Coding (STBC), a multiple-antenna encoding technique to improve reliability in some environments
- Channel coexistence measures for "good neighbor" behavior when using 40 MHz operation in the 2.4 GHz band
Also, the Alliance has introduced an updated logo, family of taglines, and product labeling matrix, all of which are reportedly designed to help consumers make informed choices about Wi-Fi products (but probably don't hurt in boosting the Wi-Fi Alliance's image). The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n logo program has been updated to support a wide range of devices tuned for varying performance criteria. In addition to removing the term "draft" from the logo, devices with particular feature sets may now use taglines in conjunction with the logo. Devices can now be designated "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED dual-stream n" or "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED multi-stream n" to indicate that they have passed tests for specific performance-enhancing features.
So, like we said, your current "802.11n" products will still keep working just fine, but if you spot any new gear with this here logo, you can rest assured that everything will work just perfectly. Er, so they say...