• Faster 802.11n WiFi in 4G iPhone?

    A reader of the tech blog Electronista passed on a tip about an old Apple job posting that may give a clue about an upcoming wireless speed bump for the iPhone. The listing for a "Wifi Software Engineer" seeks someone proficient in the 802.11a and 802.11n standards as well as the existing 802.11b/g the iPhone currently uses. While Apple desktops have long implemented the faster 802.11n, the posting specifically notes that the engineer would be working on "new functionalities of Apple's mobile and phone products."

    The job posting was put up last year, which would put the development in the right time frame for the expected launch of the fourth-generation iPhone this coming summer. The posting was explicit about the work being a mobile implementation of the standard.
    The ideal candidate should possess excellent understanding and working knowledge of 802.11 implementations on embedded (preferably mobile) platforms. Relevant experiences include but are not limited to the following:

    Implementation of 802.11 a/b/g/n & related specifications.

    802.11i/802.1x Security protocols

    Good understanding of wireless RF technologies & co-existence issues of 802.11 PHYs with other Wireless interfaces like Bluetooth.
    802.11n boasts up to five times the throughput and up to twice the range compared to the earlier 802.11g standard. Standard implementations use multiple antennas and two (or more) radios to be able to send a stronger signal and improve receive sensitivity to extend the range, while improved data encoding along with larger channel sizes allows for significant throughput improvement over 802.11g. The problem has been that all that wireless hardware drains a mobile phone's battery quickly.

    It's been speculated before that a future iPhone may implement single-stream 802.11n, which allows the number of antennas on one end (say the phone) to be different than the number on the other end (the base station) while still taking advantage of improved data speed. 802.11n is not supported on the iPhone 3GS Broadcom chip, but the chip inside the new iPod touch does support the faster standard, though it is not currently implemented in software.

    Apple is widely expected to unveil the next generation iPhone at the annual WWDC 2010 conference, which will be held in June.

    image via Apple
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