SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- JEDEC on Wednesday clarified its efforts in the 802.11 wireless local-area networking (WLAN) market, saying it is setting up a new committee to develop open chip-level interface standards for the technology.
In an story posted earlier Wednesday on SBN, it was incorrectly reported that JEDEC is assuming control of the 802.11 standard from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) organization.
It turns out that JEDEC is not trying to wrestle control of the 802.11 technologies away from the IEEE group. In fact, IEEE will continue to be the main standards body for defining and developing the air-interface standards for 802.11 wireless networks, said Desi Rhoden, chairman of JEDEC. Rhoden is also president and chief executive of Advanced Memory International Inc. of Austin, Tex.
But in a move that could help simplify and propel the chaotic WLAN market, JEDEC for the first is getting involved with the 802.11 technology, although it is not working hand-in-hand with IEEE, Rhoden explained.
While the IEEE will continue to define the air-interface standards for 802.11, JEDEC is independently looking at the "product implementation" part of the standard development process, he said. "The work of JEDEC is in support of IEEE," he told SBN.
Officials from IEEE and JEDEC put a harmonious spin on their respective--but somewhat conflicting--efforts to standardize 802.11 technology.
Officials from the IEEE committee in charge of the 802.11 standard, dubbed the 802.11 Working Group, said the organization will work closely with JEDEC on the 802.11 standards process.
JEDEC and the 802.11 Working Group are "working in tandem for the good of the market and standards positioning," declared Stuart J. Kerry, chairman of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group, in an e-mail sent to SBN. Kerry is also wireless business development Executive for the Networking Business at Philips Semiconductors.
Both the IEEE and JEDEC "have agreed to have a liaison relationship with each other," added Larry Arnett, co-chairman of JEDEC's WLAN subcommittee, dubbed JC-61. Arnett also senior marketing manager at Mitsubishi Electric Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif.
JEDEC's JC-61 wireless subcommittee will develop "open" interfaces for 802.11 semiconductors, pointed out Patrick Yu, chairman of the marketing committee for JC-61. Yu is also the marketing director for Acer Laboratories Inc.'s U.S. subsidiary in San Jose.
JC-61 will help devise the standards "between two interfaces" for an 802.11-based chip set, Yu said. "One of those interfaces is between the physical-layer device and the media-access controller. The other one is between the baseband processor and radio transceiver," Yu told SBN.
IEEE sets the 802.11 standards, but the organization "doesn't tell you how to implement the interfaces," Yu said. "JC-61 is trying to implement the interface standards."
JEDEC is calling for proposals for chip-level 802.11 interface standards. The next meeting for the JC-61 sub-committee is April 9-10. The meeting will be held at Conexant Systems Inc.'s headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.
Meanwhile, the same companies involved in the so-called 802.11 Working Group within IEEE are also in JEDEC's JC-61 sub-committee.
But one of the main problems with the IEEE is that chip makers and systems houses can "stack the deck" in the standards process, according to sources. In other words, every individual from a particular group or company has a vote in the standards process, sources said.
In sharp contrast, JEDEC officials were quick to point out that each company receives only one vote in the standards process, thereby solving some of the political problems, according to analysts.
Still, it's unclear if IEEE or JEDEC can solve the major issues with 802.11--a WLAN technology that has failed to live up to its promises in terms of market adoption, due to cost and security problems, analysts said. Another problem is the standards for the long-awaited 802.11 technology, analysts added.
Previously, there were two basic 802.11 standards-802.11a and 802.11b. The first technology that appeared in the market was 802.11b, which sends wireless data at speeds of 11-megabits-per-second in the 2.4-GHz band.
More recently, some vendors have begun to push 802.11a, which sends wireless data up to 54-Mbit/sec. in the 5-GHz band. This scheme uses an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing encoding scheme technology.
And not to be outdone, some are now pushing a new version-dubbed 802.11g, which sends data at speeds of more than 20-Mbit/sec. in the 2.4-GHz band.