As we edge ever closer (right?) to finally seeing a finalized 802.11n protocol, companies are shoving (sometimes in secret) draft-spec 802.11n kit into their products to take advantage of the here and now. Taking yet another baby step towards the goal, Qualcomm is releasing a fourth-generation chipset, dubbed the AGN400, to take advantage of Draft 2.0 of the IEEE 802.11n standard. The chipset itself was crafted by Airgo, who just so happened to be acquired by dear Qualcomm in one fell swoop, and also features Airgo's True MIMO Gen-N technology. Although Airgo has had its quibbles with backwards compatibility in the past, this device will supposedly play nice with all previous 802.11s, including the earlier draft of 802.11n and the typical trio of 802.11a/b/g. Reportedly ready to fit a "full array" of interface buses for OEM products, this Draft 2.0-compliant chipset purportedly provides "significantly better performance, a greater feature set, and enhanced interoperability" over the previous rendition. While pricing details weren't discussed, it should be ready for the world to see by CES, while True MIMO Gen-N products should be available by "the first quarter of 2007."

[Via PhoneMag]

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Qualcomm swallows Airgo, announces first 802.11n Draft 2.0 chipset