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802.11n Wifi Card in New iMacs?

MacRumors user, Peace, discovered that the wireless card in the new Core 2 Duo 20" iMac is identified as a Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter under the latest version of Vista.

The Broadcom 802.11n adapter provides a draft version of the 802.11n wireless specification which is not yet finalized. The new protocol promises significantly faster transfer speeds than existing 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks.

The real data throughput is estimated to reach a theoretical 540 Mbit/s (which may require an even higher raw data rate at the physical layer), and should be up to 50 times faster than 802.11b, and well over 10 times faster than 802.11a or 802.11g.


Adopting draft protocols may cause interoperability issues when the protocol is finally ratified -- which may not be until 2008.. This doesn't appear to be stopping manufacturers, including Intel, from adopting the draft protocols.

Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Apple's iTV device will also incorporate the 802.11n protocol. Steve Jobs described the wireless technology only as "802.11" -- without specifying the exact protocol.
The new card capabilities were discovered when booting the latest version of Vista. The 802.11n capabilities of the device do not appear to be recognized under Mac OS X at this time.

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