The update to the 802.11g wireless standard has been approved by an industry group, and the first 802.11n applications are expected next year.
The 802.11n task group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers approved the first draft of the new standard at a meeting in Hawaii on Thursday.
802.11n will allow notebook users to connect to wireless access points at much faster speeds than currently available with 802.11g technology. It will use a technology called MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out), which allows the chips to use multiple antennas that can each handle more than one data signal at a time. This is expected to improve the range and throughput of 802.11n products to the point where they should be able to send video content around a house without interrupted playback. Products with 802.11n chips will backward compatible with older 802.11a/b/g products at their slower speeds.