As expected, an IEEE task force unanimously voted in favor of the 802.11n draft standard offered by a joint-proposal team led by the Enhanced Wireless Consortium.

Although the 802.11n draft probably will not be ratified as a standard for about a year, industry observers have said they expect products based on the draft version of the standard to appear on the market this summer.

The 802.11n standard is expected to generate maximum data throughputs of 600 Mb/s, making it possible to wirelessly transmit high-definition video between devices. In addition, the range of 802.11n is expected to be much greater than current Wi-Fi standards — up to 1500 feet — and the new standard will be designed to operate at unlicensed frequencies in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

IEEE's vote on the next-generation Wi-Fi standard effectively brings to a close the saga that has unfolded during the past year. After two groups — TgnSync and WWise — failed to garner enough support for their proposals to keep the standards process moving, large chipmakers led the creation of the EWC, which became a point of consensus.