Current developments make Draft N poised to hit the mainstream market next year, according to Mike Hurlston, Broadcom’s vice president of WLAN products. Hurlston said four laptop makers, i.e., Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP, have announced plans to ship Draft N products. He also noted the improved cooperation among chipmakers, thus creating better interoperability among products, and higher levels of performance.
At this point, Draft N products cater to small businesses and homes requiring one access point installation. Hurlston expects uptake among enterprises to increase once the full standard is released or until Cisco comes out with its 802.11n APs. But with more products hitting the market, enterprise vendors may feel the need to move “ahead of the standard.”
Hurlston believes Draft N will enjoy higher popularity in 2007. Intel, he said, is hinting about offering draft 11n cards early next year. Also, the WiFi Alliance will start branding Draft N products, which will likely extend to a third to forty percent of notebooks by the latter half of 2007. The number will increase to more than half by the end of the following year.