Category Archives: IEEE

What Version of Wi-Fi Do You Have?

Wi-Fi, otherwise officially known as IEEE 802.11, is the communications standard by which we can be wirelessly connected to the Internet. Per Wikipedia:

IEEE 802.11 is a set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication in the 900 MHz and 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands.

The IEEE 802.11 standard was created and is maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802). This committee is made up of interested volunteers from both the academic and corporate space.

Wi-Fi Version IEEE Standard Speed Released
1 802.11b 11 Mbps 1999
2 802.11a 11 Mbps 1999
3 802.11g 54 Mbps 2003
4 802.11n 600 Mbps [5] 2009
5 802.11ac 3460 Mbps [5] 2014
6 802.11ax target of 4 x version 5 [5] 2019

 

We have been using IEEE 802.11 or Wi-Fi for many years now (since 1999), but the standard has evolved as the technology has matured. Subsequent versions of the standard have steadily increased the data access speeds [4]. (NOTE: the table above shows thearetical maximum speed and is not necessarily what you will achieve) The result is that while we have devices that claim Wi-Fi compatibility, and many locations that offer Wi-Fi access, those ‘Wi-Fi’ are not necessarily the same [3].

Fortunately, each subsequent release of the 802 standard is backwards-compatible with the prior versions. That means if you walk into a coffee shop with an older Wi-Fi access point that is still only 802.11n compatible, your iPhone X with 802.11ac will automatically downgrade its connection to match the access point. Likewise if you have an iPhone 5 that is only 802.11n compatible and you are in a location with an 802.11ac rated access point, the communication will be limited to 802.11n speeds. You can check this site to see what you iPhone is capable of.

WFA_CERTIFIED_Flat_Web_LR.pngThe Wi-Fi Alliance is behind the “Wi-Fi Certified” logo that we see on basically every Wi-Fi enabled device [10]. Up until now, Wi-Fi implementations have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit that manages the implementation of Wi-Fi, by numbers and letters associated with the corresponding IEEE standard. It has now simplified the naming scheme by adopting more user comprehensible version numbers, such as Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 [2]. While the Alliance will be certifying devices, there is nothing to force vendors to comply with the new branding [2].

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As vendors adapt their device software to the new naming convention, users should see a visual indication, such as those shown above, to indicate which type of Wi-fi network they are connected to [2].

References:

  1. Wi-Fi 6: What’s Different, and Why it Matters
  2. Wi-Fi is adopting a simplified naming scheme based on version numbers
  3. The next generation of wireless networking will be called WiFi 6
  4. The evolution of WiFi standards: a look at 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  5. 802.11: Wi-Fi speeds and standards explained
  6. The new version of Wi-Fi is called Wi-Fi 6 because rules don’t matter
  7. Wi-Fi 6 Will Arrive Next Year; Wi-Fi Versions To Get Simpler Names
  8. Wi-Fi versions to get names people can actually understand
  9. Newest WiFi Version Will Be Called WiFi 6
  10. Wi-Fi is adopting version numbers such as WiFi 6
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Tech-Oriented​ Crossword Puzzles

IEEE – I only recently came across this tech-oriented crossword puzzle published each week by IEEE USA InSight. As they say on the website:

Try your hand at our weekly engineering- and technology-themed crossword puzzles. Every Wednesday, we will post a new puzzle — authored by renowned crossword puzzle writer Myles Mellor — to test your skill and knowledge.

Crossword puzzles are not one of my interests, but I know they are for many. If you are one of those and you are interested in technology and engineering, these may be just what you are looking for.

November Issue of IEEE Central Texas Section Newsletter

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I wrapped up the November issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog. If you are interested in Tech and live in Central Texas, you may be interested in some of the events. IEEE Technical meetings are always open to the public.

http://ewh.ieee.org/r5/central_texas/archive/Analog/2017-11-Analog.html

IEEE Central Texas Section Newsletter Published

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IEEE – I finished putting together the October issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, and posted it to the Section web site where you can read it now.

Included in the newsletter is items of interest to area engineers and others interested in technology. Technical meetings for the various Chapters are open to the public. Please join us to learn and network.

Attendance at technical meetings qualifies as Continuing Education credit required for the annual renewal of the Professional Engineer License.

September Issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section Newsletter Has Been Posted

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IEEE – I completed the September issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog this morning and posted it to the Section website. You can read it here.

Meetings of interest to the engineer or technologist, both IEEE and other, are listed. IEEE technical meetings are open to the public and visitors are encouraged to attend.

IEEE Central Texas Section August Newsletter Posted

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I finished putting the August issue of the Central Texas Section newsletter together and you can read it on-line here.

We have several Technical Society Chapter meetings planned for August, all of which are open to the public. If you are interested in technology, please join us.

Professional Engineers Day 2017

Today is Professional Engineers Day. Licensing of engineers began in the US in 1907. Today is the second annual Licensed Professional Engineer day recognizing PEs in the various engineering disciplines.

Licensing began as a means to protect the public health, safety and welfare. In most countries around the world, a licensed engineer is required to oversee and be responsible for any construction project of significance. Before 1907, anyone could claim to be an engineer and perform work whether or not they were competent to do so.

I became a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas back in 1980 and have maintained my status since then.  Becoming licensed is not easy. In general the requirements are:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an approved university in engineering
  2. Successfully complete the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  3. Complete four years of qualifying engineering experience
  4. Prepare for, take and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam for your jurisdiction

IEEE Central Texas Section Newsletter Posted

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I finished putting together the July issue of the CTS newsletter, The Analog, and have posted it on the Section website.

It contains information about the meetings coming up in the next month, as well as some of the conferences that will be held in Central Texas. All of the IEEE technical meetings are open to the public and we welcome your attendance. It is a good way to meet others with similar interests in technology and to build your network.

June Newsletter for IEEE Central Texas Section Posted

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I finished putting together the June issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, earlier this week. It contains information of interest to engineers and those interested in technology in the Central Texas Area. Included are a list of the scheduled technical meetings to be held in the area. All of the IEEE technical meetings are open to the public.

Check out the June issue for yourself.

IEEE CTS Newsletter Published

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I finished putting together the May issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, earlier this week. It lists many events coming up in Central Texas. IEEE meetings are always open to the public, so please come join us to learn and to expand your professional network.

You can read the May Analog here.