Good news all round this, Intel has successfully integrated 802.11n into its Centrino chipset (below), though a release date was still not forthcoming from the chip giant.
The new standard (which has still yet to be officially finalised) will offer wireless speeds with a theoretical maximum of 135Mbps, more than double the 54Mbps offered by 802.11g. Of course, we all know that in reality wireless transfer rates tend to be approximately half this due to variations in signal strength, interference, etc.
That said, 802.11n will be an important step forward because – even at 50-70Mbps – we cross the threshold for smooth streaming video. What remains less certain, however, is whether we will see a major improvement in wireless range since what is offered by 802.11g is far from ideal. For the record, 802.11n is backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g, but you’ll need an “n” rated router and wireless card to benefit from the increased speed.
802.11n has been a long time coming, too long given that many manufacturers have begun producing there own proprietary Pre-N technologies such as Belkin, and D-Link and Netgear to name but a few. A universal standard is good for everybody though, and with wireless USB and VDSL2 both finalised in recent weeks, networking looks ready to make major strides forward once again.
A clarification here, as I seem to have sent one or two of you down the wrong road. This technology has been achieved in the company's labs, but it is NOT yet ready for commercial release. After all 802.11n is not ratified yet, so while the means is there, the roundtable squabbling continues. Come on, make 802.11n networking technology, not war guys...