As expected, the IEEE's standards board has officially ratified the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. The announcement comes some seven years after initial work on the successor to 802.11a, b and g began in 2002.
802.11n devices have of course been readily available in recent years, with a Draft N specification allowing vendors to launch products that wouldn't become obsolete once the standard was finalised. The IEEE suggests that all Draft N-certified devices will work with the final standard, but how many manufacturers opt to update existing devices through new firmware remains a question mark.
Bruce Kraemer, Chair of the IEEE Wireless LAN Working Group, had this to say:
"This was an extraordinarily wide-ranging technical challenge that required the sustained effort and concentration of a terrific variety of participants. When we started in 2002, many of the technologies addressed in 802.11n were university research topics and had not been implemented. The performance improvements achieved via IEEE 802.11n stand to transform the WLAN user experience, and ratification of the amendment sets the stage for a new wave of application innovation and creation of new market opportunities."