Although ratification of 802.11n is not expected until 2008, major PC makers are pushing ahead with plans to integrate high-speed Wi-Fi into their notebooks. Lenovo is following the lead of Dell, Acer and HP, and will provide an 802.11n radio in its 3000 series notebooks. The company, like Dell and Acer, is turning to Broadcom for the chips.
Broadcom vice president Mike Hurlston dismissed fears that draft 802.11n notebooks may not work well with certified equipment once the standard is approved. Hurlston said: “The chances are north of 80 percent that the product will be fully upgradeable to the final standard. But the chances that it is upgradeable in a meaningful way are close to 100 percent.”
A study by network advisory and testing firm Farpoint Group involving a range of draft 802.11n equipment disproved Hurlston’s argument: it found interoperability issues. ZDNet UK Reviews also saw a similar phenomenon and noticed slower data rates with older equipment during tests that it conducted.