Apple to adopt 802.11n early

The new iPhone may have stolen the show at Macworld, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs also revealed some of the company’s wireless networking plans. Those plans include an updated AirPort Extreme router. Apple’s networking equipment isn’t usually very interesting, but what sets the new AirPort Extreme apart is its support for the draft 802.11n specification. Chances are the 802.11n spec won’t actually be finalized until next year, but the Wi-Fi alliance decided to start certifying 802.11n equipment ahead of time, and Apple has jumped on that bandwagon. 802.11n support will enable speeds of up to 540Mb/s at a range of up to 50m (165 feet,) compared to 54Mb/s and 30m (98 feet) for the current 802.11g spec.

Perhaps more interesting is that, as AppleInsider reports, “Apple said all Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel Xeon Macs except the entry 17-inch iMac with 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor support the 802.11n technology.” The machines will simply require a software update included with the AirPort Extreme base station to support the draft spec. The 802.11n AirPort Extreme will be available from the Apple Store starting next month at a price of $179.

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    • Turd-Monkey
    • 13 years ago

    Couple of points here:

    ) The wireless chip is made by atheros, they’ve been shipping it with “pre” n support for a while.

    ) Dell already ships (broadcom) based “pre n” cards in notebooks. (same with other manufacturers)

    ) Wifi alliance will be very careful to make sure that the “pre n” stuff they certify will be 100% software upgradeable.

    • Forge
    • 13 years ago

    I wish I could get one of these for my widescreen G4 iMac. The 10/100 on there is *slow*.

    • cRock
    • 13 years ago

    Think about it guys, this is all about one thing: Apple TV. 802.11n gives you just enough bandwidth to stream uncompressed 720p. This was a must have before the product launch.

    • Stijn
    • 13 years ago

    Sorry if this is a little bit off-topic,
    but if you just want to share an internet connection (10Mbps), 802.11g (54Mbps) should be sufficient, right?

      • grug
      • 13 years ago

      Yes, the max throughput of 802.11g is about 24Mbps. Plenty for 10Mbps cable.

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Yes, LANs of any type are generally far faster than broadband internet. I continue explain this to my dad when he wants to know why we don’t have gigabit ethernet.

      • moose17145
      • 13 years ago

      Yes for most people even a .11b standard is more than fast enough, but for people like me who enjoy file sharing the .11n standard is a welcome development.

    • grug
    • 13 years ago

    Apple really do lead the pack among computer manufacturers when it comes to wireless technologies. I remember when they were shipping Airport (802.11b) on the iBook way back in July 1999 — again before it was ratified by the IEEE.

      • anand
      • 13 years ago

      Even the cheapy Airlink101 routers that you can pick up at Fry’s are available with 802.11n support – and you can buy them right now. The part about being able to upgrade the computers with a software update is pretty neat though.

      EDIT: Sorry, ignore the “#4” reply thingy. Didn’t mean that to be there.

    • moose17145
    • 13 years ago

    it’s apple, it will suck (call me an anti apple fanboy all you want, idc).

      • blastdoor
      • 13 years ago

      I think I’ll call you an apple-hater instead of a fanboy.

      The more successful Apple becomes, the more amusing I find the apple-haters to be. So bring it on — what else bad can you say about apple?

      And actually, is saying bad stuff really enough? Shouldn’t you be out protesting? I want to see you on the evening news, chained to the front door of an apple store, yelling about how the PowerPC sucked. Please, please do that! I’m totally serious — i would really enjoy laughing at you, so please do it.

        • Kurlon
        • 13 years ago

        Apple COMPUTER really hasn’t become any more successful going by total market share in PCs, just louder as Apple offshoots start to carry the company more and more. (To the point that Apple changed names with this latest Macworld, dropping Computer from the title…)

        As far as shipping wireless gear before a spec is a proper spec, I’m not cool with that. It’s not leading, it’s not innovative, it’s jumping the gun. That said, the majority of new PC lappies are shipping with Pre N hardware now anyways, and have been for awhile… which is stupid. I’d love for ieee to stab at these guys by altering the spec just enough so none of the hardware can be compliant without hardware changes.

    • blitzy
    • 13 years ago

    hmm, i wonder if any of the current wless adapter can have an update to provide .11n compatibility

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Only those that are actually n deivces. Apple has been shipping n cards for a while now in their computers.

      Adi

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