Wi-Fi Alliance launches updated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ n program

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AUSTIN, TEXAS - September 30, 2009 - The Wi-Fi Alliance has begun product testing for its  Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n program, updating its two-year-old Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 program.  The updated program adds testing for some popular optional features now more widely available in Wi-Fi equipment. The Wi-Fi Alliance has also introduced an updated logo, family of taglines, and product labeling matrix, to help consumers make informed choices about Wi-Fi products.  The launch comes shortly after the finalization of the IEEE 802.11n standard, and at a time when a broader array of 11n products with varying performance profiles is entering the market.

"Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n builds on the success of our draft-n certification program and marks a point of maturity in 802.11n technology," said Wi-Fi Alliance executive director Edgar Figueroa. "Our expanded testing and branding program helps ensure the best user experience in the context of the Wi-Fi industry's continued innovation and the evolving landscape of products implementing next-generation Wi-Fi."

The updated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n program maintains the requirements of the draft 2.0 program and adds testing for some new optional features, including:

  • Test support for simultaneous transmission of up to three spatial streams 
  • Packet aggregation (A-MPDU), to make data transfers more efficient
  • Space-time Block Coding (STBC), a multiple-antenna encoding technique to improve reliability in some environments
  • Channel coexistence measures for "good neighbor" behavior when using 40 MHz operation in the 2.4 GHz band

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n logo program has been updated to support a wide range of devices tuned for varying performance criteria.  In addition to removing the term "draft" from the logo, devices with particular feature sets may now use taglines in conjunction with the logo.  Devices can now be designated "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED dual-stream n" or "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED multi-stream n" to indicate that they have passed tests for specific performance-enhancing features (Fig. 1).  In addition, a matrix of product features may be used by some vendors to outline frequency band and spatial stream support of a particular product (Fig. 2).

"Given the wide array of 802.11n devices now emerging, and their varying capabilities, the launch of an updated Wi-Fi certification program is an important next step for the industry," said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst and market intelligence manager at In-Stat. "Wi-Fi Alliance's leadership, through testing and the updated branding and labeling, will continue to help users have the best experience with advanced Wi-Fi technology."

The following companies supply the products used in the interoperability test bed, and their devices are the first to become Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n in the new testing program:

  • Atheros XSPAN® Dual-band 2.4/5GHz PCIe MiniCard for Computing Designs, Full MIMO Configuration
  • Atheros XSPAN® Dual-band, Dual-concurrent 2.4/5GHz, Gigabit Reference Platform for AP/Routers, Full MIMO configuration
  • Broadcom Intensifi Dual-Band 802.11n Client Reference Design
  • Broadcom Intensifi XLR Dual-Band 802.11n Router Reference Design
  • Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300
  • Marvell Smart™ Wi-Fi 802.11n 3x3 450 Mbps Dual-Band Access Point
  • Ralink MIMObility™ RT3800 Dual-band 3x3 450 Mbps Access Point with Beamforming

The Wi-Fi Alliance web site provides in-depth information about Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n.  New white papers for industry and consumer readers, consumer video tutorials and retailer information about Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n, along with tools to find certified products, are available at http://www.11nbasics.org/.

Client capabilities requirements   Access point capability requirements  Logo / tagline (sample)
 
  • Two stream (Rx)
  • Tx-AMPDU
  • 40 MHz in 5 GHz,
    if 5GHz supported
 
  • Two stream (Tx and Rx)
  • Tx-AMPDU
  • 40 MHz in 5 GHz,
    if 5GHz supported
  • STBC
 
 
  • Three+ stream (Rx)
  • Tx-AMPDU
  • 40 MHz in 5 GHz,
    if 5GHz supported
 
  • Three+ stream (Rx)
  • Tx-AMPDU
  • 40 MHz in 5 GHz,
    if 5GHz supported
  • STBC

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n logos, taglines and required feature support, by device type.

 

Figure 2: Sample of a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n product matrix.

 

About the Wi-Fi Alliance

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program was launched in March 2000. It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products deliver the best user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 6,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, WMM®, Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA), the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, the Wi-Fi logo, and the Wi-Fi ZONE logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance; Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™,Wi-Fi Protected Setup™, Wi-Fi Multimedia™, and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.