Sunday, August 30, 2009

WiFi History

Wi-Fi uses both single carrier direct-sequence spread spectrum radio technology, part of the larger family of spread spectrum systems and multi-carrier OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) radio technology. Unlicensed spread spectrum was first authorized by the Federal Communications Commission in 1985 and these FCC regulations were later copied with some changes in many other countries enabling use of this technology in all major countries. These regulations then enabled the development of Wi-Fi, its onetime competitor HomeRF, and Bluetooth.

The precursor to Wi-Fi was invented in 1991 by NCR Corporation/AT&T (later Lucent & Agere Systems) in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. It was initially intended for cashier systems; the first wireless products were brought on the market under the name Wave LAN with speeds of 1 Mbit/s to 2 Mbit/s. Vic Hayes, who was the primary inventor of Wi-Fi and has been named the 'father of Wi-Fi,' was involved in designing standards such as IEEE 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g. In 2003, Vic retired from Agere Systems. Agere Systems suffered from strong competition in the market even though their products were high quality, as many opted for cheaper Wi-Fi solutions. Agere's 802.11a/b/g all-inone chipset (code named: WARP) never made it to market, and Agere Systems decided to quit the Wi-Fi market in late 2004.

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