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Enhanced Wireless Consortium Standard

One of the Wi-Fi industry's most closely watched stalemates received a new twist today. Faced with a deadlock between two competing groups and proposals for the shape of an 802.11n protocol standard, TGn Sync and WWiSE agreed to build a combined proposal that would forge a compromise between the two industry associations.

However the working group had not yet devised a specification for the combined proposal, when news reached the market last month that four major companies - Broadcom, Intel, Atheros and Marvell, holding the lion's share of the Wi-Fi chipset market - had formed a third camp with the aim of writing a whole new proposal.

Now we know that the breakaway group consists not of four companies, but 27, calling themselves the Enhanced Wireless Consortium. Today the EWC released its specification for 802.11n, saying, "By introducing a specification with widespread industry support, the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC) hopes to speed ratification of an 802.11n standard, while enabling an ecosystem of high-performance WLAN products built to a common set of guidelines. This widely adopted specification will benefit consumers by, among other things, ensuring the interoperability of next-generation wireless products across a variety of brands and platforms."

While appearing to preempt the IEEE working group's efforts, the EWC said that some of its members, many of whom belong to TGn Sync or WWiSE, "will continue to work within the IEEE Task Group 'N' to facilitate a ratified 802.11n standard."

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