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Wi-Fi has become such an amazingly successful technology because it has continuously advanced while remaining backwards compatible. Every few years since the 802.11b amendment was ratifed, the industry has released successive amendments increasing Wi-Fi data rates and capabilities, but even the latest Wi-Fi systems are able to interoperate with 1999 equipment built to the original standard. This paper explains the latest advance in Wi-Fi, 802.11ac, which provides the next step forward in performance.
The current state-of-the-art Wi-Fi is known as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n or 802.11n. In the four years since the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced its initial certifcation, this technology has become hugely popular. According to IHS iSuppli, 802.11n now accounts for over two-thirds of Wi-Fi chipset shipments, and is on track to take over completely from 802.11a/b/g in mainstream applications before the end of 2012.
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