Updated 12/4/06 12:45PM EST A little research and a call with Greg Raleigh, President & CEO of Airgo Networks clarified what Qualcomm / Airgo is actually announcing. The most recent accepted 802.11n draft is 1.06 and the current working version is 1.07. Raleigh said that it is “pretty clear” what will be in 802.11n Draft 2.0 and that most recent activity in the working group has been taking things out of the draft rather then adding them.
Raleigh also said the ad-hoc group formed back in March and chaired by Cisco and Motorola to hammer out a solution to the 40 MHz mode problem (that causes current draft 11n devices to interfere with 802.11b/g WLANs) has presented all of its options, but that consensus has not yet been reached.
So in order to not miss the Wi-Fi interoperability certification activities announced in August that will take place in the March-June 2007 timeframe, Airgo decided to put everything that could possibly be in Draft 2.0 into the AGN400 chipset that was announced today and start baking silicon. But “everything that could possibly be in 802.11n Draft 2.0 compliant” isn’t very catchyÂ—hence the abbreviation to just “802.11n Draft 2.0” (my conclusion, not Raleigh’s words).
Qualcomm announced now because it is actually shipping product. But expect a rash of “Draft 2.0” chipset announcements shortly, with consumer end-product announcements from the usual suspects to follow in time for next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.