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Qualcomm: first draft 2.0 802.11n chipset

Qualcomm acquired Airgo at the beginning of December 2006

Qualcomm has announced it has a chipset that conforms to draft 2.0 of the 802.11n wireless specification.

The full Wi-Fi standard is expected to be ratified either late in 2007, or early 2008.

The chip-maker's statement came just after it emerged the company was buying Airgo , the company behind many of the MIMO wireless kits we've seen released over the past couple of years.

The new chipset features Airgo's True MIMO Gen-N technology, and will be coded AGN400. The announcement is interesting because Airgo has not previously draft 802.11n silicon.

Instead the company came under criticism for sniping at manufacturers who did release draft kit. The sniping largely concentrated on the incompatibilities between draft 1.0 802.11n kits.

"The industry-leading performance of AGN400, and its full compatibility with the Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability specification is exactly what our customers have asked us to deliver," says Greg Raleigh, president and CEO of Airgo Networks.

Draft 2.0 is supposed to iron out many of the difficulties experienced with the troublesome 1.0 specification.

Kit containing the new silicon is expected to be commercially available early in 2007, and we're promised a demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ) in January. Dan Grabham