Faster Wi-Fi

A consortium of companies, including Airgo Networks, Bermai, Broadcom, Conexant Systems, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments, are collaborating under the moniker ‘WWiSE’ to create a fast new Wi-Fi standard.

Together, they are presenting their proposal to the IEEE 802.11n Task Group, which is chartered with developing a next-generation Wi-Fi standard capable of sustaining data throughput in excess of 100Mbit/sec.

IEEE 802.11n will be an especially important standard in the WLAN market as it will build upon and extend the capabilities for the vast number of users currently enjoying the benefits of Wi-Fi connectivity.

The WWiSE proposal, which stands for worldwide spectrum efficiency, is based on MIMO-OFDM (multiple input, multiple output-orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) technology. It specifies the mandatory use of the approved, pre-existing, worldwide 20MHz Wi-Fi channel width, rates up to 540 Mbit/sec, mandatory modes affording backwards compatibility and interoperability with existing Wi-Fi devices in the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands as well as an advanced forward-error-correction coding option to facilitate maximum coverage and range.

The contributing member companies of WWiSE have jointly agreed to specific IP licensing terms for their proposal. Under IEEE requirements, all proposal submissions must be made under acceptance of RAND licensing (Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) terms to all parties.

In addition, if the WWiSE proposal is selected as the 802.11n standard, the companies have further agreed that reciprocal RAND-Z licenses (RAND under Zero royalty) to their essential IP will be available to any party upon request.

Under the agreement, which is not a patent pool, but a reciprocal royalty-free individual license option, WWiSE member companies will not charge developers for an 802.11n license for their respective patent claims that are essential to implementing the standard. The aim of this is to lower costs for developers, manufacturers and consumers. It will not be necessary to be a contributor to the WWiSE proposal in order to take advantage of the license offer.

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