D-Link's Draft-N 2.0 Upgrade Ready

By Eric Griffith

May 09, 2007

The Xtreme N product line may be the first to support the almost-final version of 802.11n.

Do you want to be the first kid on your block with a router that supports the 2.0 draft of 802.11n -- the latest version of the high-speed wireless spec, and probably the last until it’s ratified by the IEEE next year?

Well, if you already own the 2.4 GHz D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router (model DIR-655), you may be good to go. D-Link said today that upgrades for the Xtreme N line -- including the PCI Express (PCIe) Desktop Adapter, Standard PCI Desktop Adapter, Notebook ExpressCard and Notebook PC Card -- are all available, or will be this quarter.

Draft-N 2.0 adds the new Clear Channel Assessment (CCA), now a requirement of 11n, which helps protect the operation of legacy devices with older 802.11 standards. D-Link says it had CCA built in before, even though it was only an option in 1.0, not mandatory. The company claims that it’s the first out of the gate with 2.0 updates because of that early support for options in the specification.

Previous updates to the Xtreme N line introduced support for PIN-based Wi-Fi Protected Setup, an easier way to set up security created by the Wi-Fi Alliance, as well as support for Windows Vista.

The updated firmware includes certification for “Connect with Intel Centrino.” That’s important today, as a number of new laptops have shipped with Centrino Pro and Centrino Duo built in, which includes 11n.

D-Link’s Xtreme N line is based on the Xspan chipset from Atheros. The firmware upgrades will be free to existing product owners.

Soon, D-Link plans to release a new router featuring dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) support.

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