IEEE 802.11ad Defining the Next Generation Multi-Gbps WiFi

IEEE 802.11ad Defining the Next Generation Multi-Gbps WiFi

ach being influenced heavily by its

technical heritage in the respective standard body. ECMA TC48 is developing a 60 GHz PHY and MAC standard to provide high rate WPAN transport. The MAC in ECMA is rooted in WiMedia UWB MAC with necessary changes to accommodate the characteristics of 60 GHz. The IEEE 802.15.3c Task Group is developing a millimeter-wave-based alternative PHY to work with the existing 802.15.3 WPAN MAC Standard 802.15.3-2003. IEEE 802.11ad is another installment of the successful 802.11 (a.k.a. Wi-Fi) family and so it will maintain its affinity with 802.11 in many aspects. One key advantage of IEEE 802.11ad over the other standardization activities in the 60 GHz arena is that it builds on the already existing strong market presence of Wi-Fi in the 2.4/5 GHz bands. Therefore, this paper is devoted to provide a detailed overview of the charter, activities and status of IEEE 802.11ad, and how this group promises to enable the next generation multi-Gbps Wi-Fi. II. STANDARDS PROCESS REVIEW As described in [6], in the 802.11 working group there are five steps in developing an amendment to the standard. These are 1) discussion of new ideas in the Wireless Next Generation Standing Committee, 2) development of the purpose and scope for the amendment in a study group, 3) drafting of an amendment in a task group, 4) approval of the draft by the working group, and 5) review by a sponsor ballot pool and approval and ratification of the draft by the IEEE Standards Association board. In step 3, a task group typically starts by identifying functional requirements and a selection procedure for choosing proposals. The task group develops the first draft, which is sent to the entire working group for a letter ballot vote for approval. As part of the vote, the working group members may submit comments identifying deficiencies with the draft. Typically there are many rounds of letter ballot votes until the work group believes the draft is ready to proceed to step 4. According to the Project Authorization Request (PAR) [8], the group expects this to occur in December 2011. The sponsor ballot pool consists of members from beyond 802.11. This process provides a broad review of the draft. Similar to letter ballot, sponsor ballot members may submit comments as part of their vote. The expected completion date of sponsor ballot is December 2012 [8]. The 60 GHz activity in 802.11 is currently in step 3. As will be described in the following sections, the Very High Throughput Study Group (VHT SG) completed its primary activity of drafting a PAR, which contains the purpose and scope statements, in November 2008. In January 2009, Task

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Group AD (TGad) began the process of developing a 60 GHz amendment to 802.11. III. VERY HIGH THROUGHPUT STUDY GROUP The VHT SG be

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