Inside Apple’s 802.11n adapter

“It may be Apple’s worst-kept secret, but it’s a secret nonetheless: the company is including wireless cards in the new MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo that support the draft 802.11n wireless protocol,” Jason D. O’Grady blogs for ZDNet.

“The final 802.11n specification is projected to be released in December 2006 but that could slip as far back as 2008. The 802.11n spec supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies and typical data rates are expected to be 200Mbit/sec with a maximum of 540 Mbit/sec. Range is expected to be ~160 feet,” O’Grady reports. “Apple also shipped a draft 802.11n wireless card in the latest Core 2 Duo 20-inch iMac.”

O’Grady reports, “While not confirmed, it is widely believed that Apple’s forthcoming iTV device will also ship with 802.11n to support the greater bandwidth required to transmit video (especially HD) wirelessly.”

More info and photo here.

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  1. Ok, so does that mean older 802.11 versions won’t work with iTV? If so, that means almost all of us have to upgrade. If not, then why go to 802.11n in the first place?

    I like that Apple is cutting edge- but I hope iTV will support older versions of 802.11 so that we can all use this (would be interesting to learn what advantages, if any, are to be had by using 802.11n).

  2. Apple are only keeping up with the Jones’ with the 802.11n

    802.11n is an utter abomination and no current implementation comes close to providing the service that the spec claims.

    Anandtech has a very good article on how shit 820.11 draft n devices are. There is sooo much incompatibility between vendors it isn’t funny. Its unlikely that you’ll connect to many n routers in the wild.

    If you have older wi-fi cards in your machines don’t worry they will be the mainstay for a while yet.

    The committee that is draft the n spec should be ashamed of themselves that it couldn’t be agreed in a timely order so to the manufacturers going it alone and releasing pre n or draft n equipment. The consumer stands to be the loser in all of this.

    Just don’t worry if your Mac doesn’t have it.

  3. Roughly Drafted covered this.

    Basically, “g” is good enough for the current ITS videos, but sluggish for browsing iPhoto libraries.

    “n” will speed up iPhoto browsing and better handle future Hi Def video.

    Also “n” systems use two antennas, so an iTV with “n” should deliver even faster/more dependable transfers when connecting to the older “g” systems.

  4. To add to ziggybop’s post and
    mscMan’s ?

    it shows “N” to work with both 2.4ghz and5ghz, which are the same freqs used by 802.11 a/b/and g. I would think that they would be backward compatable, just slower. Let’s hope.

  5. Apple has played this card twice in the past. Each time hitting the finalized specification correctly.

    While some are claiming the spec. may be pushed out until 2008, many will jump into the market with their own use of the frequency.

    Apple knows the spec is 90% of the way home, and will thus launch it accordingly. This puts many other companies in a posistion to launch as well, and suddenly, Netgear and Linksys have wireless routers of the same specification.

    It ends up being a snowball, and by the time the spec. is ratified, 50%+ of the companies onboard the consortium have the same spec in the field, and thus that spec. becomes ratified.

    Apple leads the way in this regard, and the industry feels comfortable with the ball moving forward with this process.

    Count on a SW patch to be delivered for Mac’s right after MWSF, along with iTV to have 802.11n as the standard, along with new Airports and Airport Express’s using 802.11n as well.

  6. to “because I don’t know…”
    The short answer is “yes”.

    While the Quicktime website has most trailers in the 9 – 12 Mbps range (compressed) virtually all Blu-ray and HD DVD disks have the combined data rate of video and audio in the 18 – 26 Mbps range. A few are even higher data rates than that. None are currently higher than about 40 Mbps (average) or so for audio and video combined.

    Thus if the iTV system is transmitting and receiving compressed video over the air the decoding it (having an MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 Part 10 [aka AVC]) in it then can certainly do HD using 802.11n as it will average well over 100 Mbps.

    This is not practical with 802.11g which has an average throughput *WELL* below the peak 54 Mbps. Thus going to 802.11n is going to be required to stream true HD.

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