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New IEEE 802.11g Draft Standard a Win for WLAN Market Offering 802.11a Data-Rates in the 2.4GHz Band - Includes TI's 22Mbps Technology

  • Mandatory modes: 802.11a OFDM in the 2.4GHz band and 802.11b CCK· Mandatory modes: 802.11a OFDM in the 2.4GHz band and 802.11b CCK
  • Optional modes: PBCC-22 from TI and CCK-OFDM

DALLAS (Nov. 16, 2001) - As a leading participant in the ongoing work of the IEEE 802.11g Task Group, members from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) helped the body reach a critical technology selection for the 802.11g standard for high-rate wireless networking in the 2.4GHz band, which will allow multimedia applications to be wirelessly networked and enable the next generation of wireless LAN devices for consumers. The new draft standard, a compromise proposal from TI, Intersil Corp. and several other companies, combines elements from the final two independent proposals that were originally considered for the 802.11g standard. It offers compatibility with 802.11b and a set of data-rates up to 54Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. In addition, the new draft standard also contains modes of operation using PBCC-22 and CCK-OFDM. This integration of modes will enable consumer products to support multiple modulations and provides a clear bridge from 11Mbps to 54Mbps data rates.

"The IEEE has defined a clear path for 802.11g that bridges 11, 22 and 54 Mbps, making multi-mode products based on one standard a reality," said Allen Nogee, senior analyst Cahners In-Stat/MRD. "By already offering 22Mbps capabilities with the ACX100, TI and its customers are well positioned to enable the first step in the deployment of 802.11g compliant products in the 2.4GHz band."

The 802.11g draft standard utilizes framework from the original proposals for 802.11g which called for OFDM in the 2.4GHz band as an optional mode to the primary proposed modulation, either PBCC-22 or CCK-OFDM. The 802.11g draft standard has two mandatory modes, OFDM offering 802.11a data rates in the 2.4GHz band, and implementation of 802.11b CCK for full backward compatibility. It also offers two optional modes of PBCC-22 and CCK-OFDM, to support rates up to 24Mbps. This balanced compromise offers a much clearer bridge between the 802.11a and 802.11b standards, plus is a straightforward means to develop true multi-mode/RF devices.

"TI supports the new IEEE 802.11g draft standard and commends the group for its work to reach a well-balanced compromise that offers the WLAN industry a clear path to support multiple modes within a single standard," said Marc Cetto, general manager Wireless Networking at TI. "This is a positive development for customers offering or developing products based on TI's ACX100 solution providing 802.11b compliance with differentiating extended data rates via PBCC-22 now, and be confident that their solutions are fully embraced by the 802.11 standards organization."

Now that the technology behind 802.11g has been clarified, TI will be developing 802.11g-compliant devices by using elements of its existing 802.11b solution, as well as its 802.11a work in progress, for availability in mid-2002. Additionally, since TI's PBCC-22 is specified in the 802.11g draft, the company's existing devices, which already offer this higher rate feature, will be able to interoperate at 22Mbps with the company's 802.11g-compliant devices that will also offer PBCC-22. This ensures a high degree of forward-compatible interoperability at this higher data rate, while maintaining full 802.11b compliance. TI is currently shipping the ACX100 to customers offering 802.11b compatibility with 802.11g standards compliant 22Mbps extended data rates allowing them to quickly differentiate their products in a less confusing WLAN ecosystem.

"TI is a strong proponent of industry standards and has consistently and proactively worked with TGg to find a compromise proposal that would be acceptable to all the members. This effort has paid off in the creation and selection of a compelling proposal in which multiple parties can walk away as winners, most notably, end consumers of WLAN products," said Bill Carney, director of business development, Wireless Networking at TI.

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