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Introducing 802.11s - Wireless Mesh Networking

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the pass-it-on dept.

Wireless Networking 253

ikewillis writes "Intel has introduced a new wireless networking standard called 802.11s. This standard utilizes a mesh topology, allowing for fully self-configuring networks where each node can relay messages on behalf of others, thus increasing the range and available bandwidth with the number of nodes active within the system, versus the point-to-point structure of existing WiFi networks. This will radically transform WiFi hotspots, allowing the geographical area and available bandwidth on the network to scale with the number of participants."

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1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871768)

FIRST POST!

Re:1st post (-1, Offtopic)

orta (786013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871782)

2nd... >.>

This is great but... (5, Interesting)

readpunk (683053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871780)

WiMax and other technologies like it will still be much more important because, do we really want a grid of short range networks that will ultimately cause divisions between different parts of the networks if one node goes down or would we prefer enourmously large networks that overlap each other (the different nodes) once or twice or thrice?

Re:This is great but... (2, Informative)

Blender (178901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871823)

You could also combine the two. Create a short range wireless LAN using mesh technology. And connect those short range WLAN's using WiMAX.

Re:This is great but... (1)

readpunk (683053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871945)

I am sorry my comment was hastily posted (at work) but indeed, they need to be combined and to speak on what someone else replied with, without corporate control. This (802.11s) still is seemingly to me a pointless evolutionary leap when a revolutionary leap is possible. Why do we take baby steps on stuff like this when we have the ability to take giant leaps?

Wimax is LICENSED, Wifi is NOT licensed (5, Insightful)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871838)

once you get licenses in the picture, you disempower the smaller entities and empower the larger entities. And I think that most Americans are starting to see that whenever larger entities gain power over small entities and citizens, then things start to go sour...

WiMAX runs over unlicensed freqs too (5, Informative)

mveloso (325617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872003)

Just an FYI, WiMAX runs across both licensed and unlicensed bands.

Re:Wimax is LICENSED, Wifi is NOT licensed (5, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872155)

Frankly, I have a certain suspicion that most Americans (perhaps even more than other nationalities) are too busy watching wrestling, praising Jesus, declaring war on abstract nouns, etc., to pay attention to whether the leader of their country is capable of rational discourse, let alone whether a particular wireless protocol is empowering large companies or not.

(Yes, I'm going for an even split between funny and troll).

Re:Wimax is LICENSED, Wifi is NOT licensed (2, Interesting)

geekee (591277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872315)

"once you get licenses in the picture, you disempower the smaller entities and empower the larger entities. And I think that most Americans are starting to see that whenever larger entities gain power over small entities and citizens, then things start to go sour..."

Fine, you can have your home-grown crappy WiFi network with a hundred hops to get to the next town. I can't believe this anti-corporate conspiracy bullshit gets modded up. Most of the products and services I buy are from large corporations. I've had a lot more problems with govt. power abuse than with corporations. The only way corporations can abuse their power is through the govt. anyway. Aside from using the govt., corporations have no power that isn't given to them by choices consumers make. I'll choose WiMax over the kludged WiFi solution any day.

Re:This is great but... (2, Insightful)

dspisak (257340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872027)

I've yet to see a single piece of WiMAX gear materilaize anywhere. I'll be surprised if any of it is out by years end. WiMAX is geared towards long distance, static location hauls. You might be able to make it work as a mesh network but you would be better served by a dense mesh network so you have redundancy and multiple antennas you can recieve and send to to help with radio contention.

Re:This is great but... (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872146)

What's the point of wireless mesh networking? By its very nature, it'll always be a broadcast network rather than a point-to-point network, so as the number of users goes up, the available bandwidth goes down. I'd think you'd want to get your connection off the air and into wires as fast as possible.

Agreed! And also... (2, Insightful)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872279)

I've read the scenarios for the wireless kind of "mesh" which assume that "all devices are created equal", regardless of if they are routers connected to the wall outlet or a (potentially on its last drops of juice) cellphones/PDAs. If such a thing really takes off you will NEVER get "stand-by" power consumption and battery life from your (constantly transmitting other people's data) cellphone.

Paul B.

Re:This is great but... (3, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872355)

Actually, available bandwidth can increase with users in some situations. It depends on how many bands are available, how many landline connections, topology, etc. Lots of factors to consider.

As a trivial example, consider two networks, one with mesh one without

A net1 B mesh C net2 D

Bandwidth from A - D is the minimum(net1, mesh, net2).

versus:

A net1 B nothing C net2 D

bandwidth from A - D is 0.

As a slightly more complex example: /-mesh1-B-\
A--D
mesh1 \-mesh2-C-/

Is the bandwidth from A-D more or less with or without C?

Re:This is great but... (1)

rexfelis (166607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872199)

The way things are going, one node going down won't mean anything at all in terms of bandwidth. Everyone's phone could be a node.

Re:This is great but... (2, Insightful)

teoryn (801633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872261)

I believe the idea is that each node is also hooked to the internet, or at least a good number of them. From there the pressure on any one internet connection could be reduced by distributing it to other nodes. However, even if a mesh was seperated, there would still be an internet connection for each side of the divide.

s? (5, Insightful)

Oen_Seneg (673357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871794)

where do they get all these letters from? There seems to be 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g and now 802.11s, and I have no idea why the letters are what they are. Anyone care to explain?

Re:s? (5, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871843)

No. We will not explain.

However, we will chide you for not including 802.11n on your list!

Re:s? (2, Funny)

CmdrObvious (680619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871885)

no, but i bet if you were to go to www.google.com and type in something like "why is it called 802.11b" you just "MIGHT" find an answer....



of course in Soviet Russia... you explain to the government... I know, but somebody had to say it...

Re:s? (4, Informative)

Xeo 024 (755161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871908)

What do the letters mean?

"Task groups within the 802.11 WG enhance portions of the 802.11 standard. A particular letter corresponding to each standard/revision, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, and so on, represents the different task groups. For example, Task Group B (i.e., 802.11b) was responsible for upgrading the initial 802.11 standard to include higher data rate operation using DSSS in the 2.4GHz band."

From 802.11 Alphabet Soup [wi-fiplanet.com] .

Re:s? (5, Informative)

Evan Meakyl (762695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871917)

to tell the truth, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11c, 802.11d, ... exists, but some are less used (and known) than others.

More info (with explanations) here [wi-fiplanet.com]

Re:s? (1)

Gamzarme (799219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871946)

There is also a 802.11n call-sign too. (you skipped it) Of course, it's 'Pre N'.

Re:s? (4, Funny)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871972)

802.11a = apathy. No one really paid much attention
802.11b = bad. It works but there's better to come
802.11g = good. Now it's worth using
802.11s = shit. That's what users on the fringe of the network will be screaming when the "link" node between the access point and them finishes their lunch and leaves, cutting them off too

S, as in "SATAN" (2, Funny)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872017)

Because, as we all know, P2P networks are EVIL.

Signed,
The MPAA/RIAA.

B.A.G.(G).I.N.S.! (2, Funny)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872232)

As I said in some previous [slashdot.org] post...

My preeciousss.

Re:s? (1)

Kn0xy (792482) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872274)

"There seems to be 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g and now 802.11s"

Do not forget to add 802.11pre-n to the growing list...

Can do with existing protocols (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871795)

Well, mesh networking does not necessarily need a new 802.11x spec. This article [tombridge.com] on Tom Bridges blog [tombridge.com] is republished from the first issue of Make [makezine.com] outlines how to create mesh networks using an Airport Express.

Re:Can do with existing protocols (1, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871875)

Let's see a network specification vs a kludge. Let me think...

We can make a faster computers or wire together a dozen old computers and get the same speed.

Re:Can do with existing protocols (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872149)

Uh, am I misreading, or is that article about WDS? WDS is not mesh networking.

Re:Can do with existing protocols (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872231)

WDS is not mesh networking.
Why not? WDS can be used to build mesh networks, just not very good ones. WDS meshes typically use the ethernet spanning tree protocol (STP) for their routing algorithm, which produces highly suboptimal routes most of the time. I have built a WDS mesh under linux with the HostAP driver and brctl. It worked alright with a couple nodes, but I wouldn't expect it to perform well if I tried to connect dozens of nodes.

Re:Can do with existing protocols (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872173)

yeah, and let's all forget that this has been done for decades with Ham Radio on the 2 meter and 440mhz bands using Packet Radio.

We were doing this in 1986 across west Michigan with MSU and Western Michigan University.

What is the next innovation they are going to come up with? ability to send text by using dit's and dah's?

Ok, let's not even look at it working like paket radio, look at it acting like 10/100 base switches. each node looks for other nodes that are open for relay and then let's the normal routing/switching that happens with TCP/IP take place.

Innovation lately has felt like Hollywood.

REmake after Remake... oh boy herbie the love bug, the longest mile, and the others....

Re:Can do with existing protocols (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872273)

Mesh networks using 802.11b/g equipment have fundamental issues...namely they can only really operate on a single channel, thus share bandwidth. In that sense, they scale badly.

You can get around this by having multiple antennas/radios, but that gets expensive.

Time to break out the checkbook? (0)

xeonon (754912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871802)

Just when I had upgraded to g, they come out with s. Guess it's time to break out the checkbook and send all my hard earned money to Cisco for a whole new set of access points to match my b, g, and other crap.

Re:Time to break out the checkbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871966)

Well if you waited 3 years to upgrade to G, why the rush? :)

Too bad cities won't be able to do it. (4, Interesting)

drivinghighway61 (812488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871803)

The way things are going, cities won't be able to provide this for their citizens. No one needs a network this big for personal usage; if municipal wi-fi is banned, it will be for naught.

Re:Too bad cities won't be able to do it. (2, Informative)

MarkTina (611072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871846)

That depends ... if your city happens to be somewhere where it's not banned (ie. not in the US) then things will be good :-)

Re:Too bad cities won't be able to do it. (1)

J3Holaday (855909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871986)

this gives me an idea for a startup company signup customers ahead of time get a dedicated t1 for an area and spread the cost of hardware out then write up contracts for the all the customers so that they can stop paying but the hardware stays for six months (w/o service) you could probably grow a good sized network in two or three years if u made it reliable and cost competitive

Re:Too bad cities won't be able to do it. (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872350)

You should ask yourself why companies are not pursuing muni WiFi solutions. The answer is they're not that stupid. They're waiting for WiMax.

Nifty . . Highway net! (5, Interesting)

millisa (151093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871807)

I think it sure would be nifty to see this type of AP installed in cars and have uplink points along major highways . . . It'd be a fluid network that would improve with traffic . . . Then again, maybe encouraging heavier traffic is a bad thing . . . it'd still be cool.

Re:Nifty . . Highway net! (1)

UCFFool (832674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872117)

Agreed, very useful for keeping current weather and traffic conditions available to vehicles on the roadway. Now, I realize a big light board above congested areas do the same thing, however this brings the actual 'cost' to the car owners, which means drastically smaller overall.

This will also be useful for important notices such as Amber Alerts and possible car theft tracking.

Re:Nifty . . Highway net! (1)

ElBorba (221626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872351)

I don't even want to think about teenage girls (keep reading) careening down the freeway while trying to download Brittney Spears to their mesh-networked in-dash MP3 players. Now you're trying to give them a REASON to cause accidents... increased bandwidth!

Re:Nifty . . Highway net! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872201)

On the Road with the Mobile Mesh [sfsu.edu]

Military technology could help alleviate traffic problems.

Now all I need .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871808)

is the cyberbrain implant with a cyber com, and optical implants I can indiscriminantly kill terrorists with a deadly, naked, invisible japanese girl. ...In Japan.

lol what? (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872237)

I have no idea what you said, but I think I agree with you?

It SOUNDS good... (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871810)

What does intel get out of it, besides a new niche (for now - popularity comes later) to sell their hardware into? Last I checked intel wasn't exactly #1 in the AP market, which is where 802.11s will make the biggest splash. I just can't manage to trust intel.

Since it's a [proposed] IEEE standard it will be available to anyone for a nominal fee, yes?

Also, since when did intel invent the idea of a gateway between a mesh network and a non-mesh network? They exist already.

Finally, are there any technical details on intel's proposal anywhere? This article basically tells us nothing except that someone at intel drew up some cute flowcharts to take to the IEEE.

Re:It SOUNDS good... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871954)

To promote notebooks, duh.

Imagine a free and easily accessable metro network. Not neccisarially 'the internet', but a local municipility network that is fairly unregulated and self-healing.

Network on the bus, network on the school, network at work, network everywere. You connect home, watch tv, home file servers, secure services, cpu-heavy crypto. Free VoIP. Stuff like that.

And what does Intel sell a lot of? Notebooks, cpus and chipsets and so on and so forth. What does other people sell a lot of.. Not notebooks.

This is technology that would help Intel market mobile computers in the forms of laptops and miniture devices running xscale proccessors and so forth.

Actually it's REALY FUCKING OBVIOUS what Intel would get from this. Some people.

A clarification and question (5, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871824)

Intel has not introduced the 802.11s standard; Intel has made a proposal to the IEEE, which they will take into consideration while designing the 802.11s standard.

The article makes 802.11s sound like a general mesh standard, which would be really nice. However, what I read on the IEEE Web site recently made it sound like merely a self-configuring version of WDS (so that only access points participate in the mesh). Can anyone provide details on the features of Intel's proposal?

what about the real world? (1)

J3Holaday (855909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871827)

the only way i ever see mesh being implemented is in some sort of wimax network where each tower doesn't need a dedicated connection or on the campus of some school or corporation too bad it wouldn't ever happen in the real world on a large scale

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871852)

Yes but will it work with Linux?

-Eric

Re:Obligatory... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871863)

No, it wont. Switch to a real OS.

How does this difffer to how DS networks? (2, Interesting)

tonejava (772709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871853)

IIRC, the Nintendo DS acts as a router/node to other DS consoles - okay speed may be different but topology is pretty much the same surely?

Re:How does this difffer to how DS networks? (1)

eggnet (75425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872043)

If Nintendo published their specification, it might be news.

FreeMeshWeb? (4, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871855)

Set up enough of these, and you could do your own neighborhood network...

Could this jump-start the "freeweb" movement, particularly since the telcos are lobbying and pushing to kill the muni wireless attempts?

Let's get the entrepreneurs and the networking hippies on the same "frequency."

Re:FreeMeshWeb? (1)

J3Holaday (855909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871921)

yah the problem is that the cost to startup something like this would be a real turnoff to nongeeks so unless u live in the middle of a one giant neighborhood of geeks itll never happen plus the local telco isn't gonna just let u all share a connection or something u'd have to get a dedicated t1 and you would need a good number of people before it actually beat the telcos rates plus then u start to get into some hairy tax stuff but if u had a company that would come out and set it up for various neighborhoods that could be very profitable and solve a lot of the reasons i think it won't be likely to happen

Re:FreeMeshWeb? (1)

Country_hacker (639557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872189)

And then you have the AOL-like lamers who can't use punctuation, proper capitalization, or grammar spamming up your neighborhood network.

(I keed, I keed!!! ;-)

Re:FreeMeshWeb? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871981)

Free web? For who? The leaching participants? You know at some point SOMEBODY is paying for the actuall connection to the net!

Free... jeeze...

Re:FreeMeshWeb? (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872011)

...So that every non geek in my neighborhood can log onto my machine and suck my bandwidth dry? Not a chance!

There aren't enough geeks per cubic block to do this communally. It would probably require public donations (or public tax dollars) as a non-profit neighborhood improvement activity.

Re:FreeMeshWeb? (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872270)

Let's get the entrepreneurs and the networking hippies on the same "frequency."

And get people to contribute to the cause until it "hertz".

Sounds great but unreliable? (4, Interesting)

Nimsoft (858559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871874)

What happens when a node goes down between several other nodes and the other nodes are now out of range of each other? The network will split and the result will be two seperate networks that are unable to reach each other until the connecting node is up again. Will users be constantly facing problems similar to IRC netsplits? Not to mention that all equipment would need to be replaced to take advantage of this new standard. I'd be more interested in longer range, or more robust signals that can penetrate more obstacles.

a new slashdot poster?! (-1, Offtopic)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872019)

Your first comment, too! Weighing in on wireless networking, too. Interesting....welcome to /.

That's why it's a mesh (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872036)

The whole idea behind a mesh network is there is no single point of failure.

That does mean you have to design things so there isn't a single point of failure...unless you want a single point of failure, of course.

The spec just addresses the nuts and bolts of devices talking to each other. It doesn't take the place of an intelligent designer.

Re:Sounds great but unreliable? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872067)

Isn't the idea that there would would be a mesh, rather than a string of nodes? With a mesh, the loss of a node would just result in the data circumventing that node.

Re:Sounds great but unreliable? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872159)

IRC is a tree network, not a mesh.

Watch the RF noise floor grow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871898)

...right....so more people in one area all on the same frequency so they can mesh. So how exactly is the speed going to be anything reasonable or reliable if you're increasing the spectrum noise?

Re:Watch the RF noise floor grow (2, Interesting)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872316)

I brought up the same issue when someone mentioned using existing gear for mesh networks.

I hope that the 802.11s spec is clever enough to account for this fundamental issue - multiple on-chip radios would solve it - allowing users to be a part of several physically overlapping but channel separated cells.

wireless bittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871912)

"allowing [...] the network to scale with the number of participants."

So this is kinda like WiFi bittorrent?

Sweet... Now my brain cells will fry all day long (2, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871960)

I recall the Wifi band is somewhere around 2.4GHz, which also happens to be the band absorbed by water. You know... like in your microwave oven... wave absorption heats the water, hence the "cooking".

Re:Sweet... Now my brain cells will fry all day lo (1, Offtopic)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872094)

Serious question here, because I've always heard that it's the water in food which gets "excited" by the microwave energy that cooks food.

Why is it then if I place a porcelain/ stoneware plate in my microwave that it gets extremely hot after a few minutes "cooking"?

Surely there's no residual "water" in my cookware.

Re:Sweet... Now my brain cells will fry all day lo (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872312)

Water is actually not opaque to 2.4ghz radiation. If it was, your food would burn on the outside while staying cold on the inside. It's more like it's translucent - some of it gets through, some doesn't. Your plate may be more opaque to microwave, not because it contains water, but because it happens to be made out of something else that happens to absorb microwave radiation as well.

Water interferes much more significantly with microwave radio transmissions at above 10 ghz.

Baby, it's hot in here, turn down your laptop (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872114)

I recall the Wifi band is somewhere around 2.4GHz, which also happens to be the band absorbed by water. You know... like in your microwave oven... wave absorption heats the water, hence the "cooking".

Radiation is the square of the distance from the emitter. More likely the barrista will get cooked than a customer with less exposure, unless they put the 802.11s devices outside the coffee area, or embed them in the fake wood supports for the coffee place.

You act as if humans were made of 98 percent water ... don't you trust the FDA and FCC ...

Radio waves around our brains... (2, Interesting)

MLopat (848735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871980)

Is anyone else even the slightest bit concerned about all the background radiation these technologies create. We have wireless in our homes, FM/AM radio broadcasts floating around, bluetooth devices, WAP's in restaurants, coffee houses, my car dealership, etc. etc. etc. Does anyone have any links to research showing that all of this "noise" is safe to our fragile human bodies? Or is the ability to download porn anywhere, anytime more important to everyone?

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872007)

not to mention the cell phone usage including the previous slashdot article talking about DNA damage! -J.R

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872029)

Good point. I want some information on the safety factors involved. Mod this guy up and provide some links.

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872047)

No, but we do have plenty of studies proving that it will kill you and you deserve large sums of money!

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872096)

Proving the porn or the wifi will kill us? Either way, do I get my $20million??

Telepathy (1)

jimijon (608416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872184)

Come on.. this is just getting us closer to telepathic communications. Granted it is a trial and error procedure, but, eventually they will hit upon the right frequency, power, etc. to make telepathic communication a reality.

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (3, Interesting)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872235)

The frequency that water absorbs has to be really quick specific... (2.45Ghz more or less) but, more importantly, if your out of that band by much (like a couple of mhz either side) water just doesnt absorb it. What DOES worry me is that while water absorbs at 2.45Ghz, we done have a much data which talks about other compounds in the human body, and their absorbtions wavelengths... if i remember my physics correctly though, its belived water has the lowest frequency of absorbption, i.e. everything's only high in the spectrum and not lower. Now, when you consider the trillions apon trillions of different molecules and their different bonds, it would be faily sensible to assume once your above 2.45Ghz, something in the human body (or even external life) may absorb that frequency.. i.e. 5.3Ghz maybe the frequency to cause rotational movement in one of the bonds of a glucose molecule.. or 3.2Ghz may cause vibration in one of the bonds of the hcl which sits on our stomachs... my 0.022 (inc GST)

Re:Radio waves around our brains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872309)

This tumor may kill me tomorrow, but pr0n is forever!

Speed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11871984)

This network topology is great idea in theory - but think of the possible latency issues. Wi-Fi has a long way to go before it will be able to handle the bandwidth requirements to handle a mesh-style network.
Think about the conventional wired based internet - it would never work in a similar way to this concept. That is why there are dedicated routers that take care of such tasks.

WiFi lower level protocol vs. IP (3, Insightful)

sploxx (622853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11871996)

There are already many research projects ongoing which try to find good routing algorithms and network topologies for IP based mesh networks.

Most of these projects try to build their mesh networks on the IP level, i.e. hardware and, IMHO even more important, medium independent.

This standard seems to work below the IP level, i.e. invisible for normal routing hardware and only usable with those "s" devices.

I wonder if this is really a good idea. Making such a standard prevents altering and improving the routing algorithms (because in the best case, they reside on some FPGA) or using mesh network topologies with, lets say, a mixed WiFi, free space optical (think house to house laser pointers :) and ethernet network. You'd need upgrades for a new routing algorithm and progress in this area will be much slower.
OTOH, maybe the network will be more stable, but one has to prove that.

Re:WiFi lower level protocol vs. IP (2, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872147)

You could put IP routing in hardware or a mesh MAC protocol in software; people have done both. It's an orthogonal issue. In fact, 802.11 products seem to be moving towards having as much of the work done on the host as possible to reduce cost (think Winmodems).

Ultamite Cool (1)

celeritas_2 (750289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872014)

WiMax S er.... a large meshing sort of wireless network with huge ranges, you could conquor the concept of ISP forever, and do all sorts of things for Africa and the like. Still 11s looks like it would be at least slightly nifty.

Re:Ultamite Cool (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872215)

The only hitch in that plan is that you still need a backbone to cross oceans and such. Other than that it's a great idea, though!

The "particpation" factor... (1)

dos4who (564592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872023)

No.. I didn't RTFA, but... I think the only hope this has of catching on, is if the "shared" portion of the bandwith is minimal (as in the usage of the bit-torrent protocol). As a frequent hotspot user, I'm already bugged enough by limited wifi bandwith speeds.

I think if I were to have to share some of that speed I might be hesitant to participate. yes, it's a selfish thought, but I'm sure I'm not alone.

Any comments?

Whither the Internet? (3, Interesting)

smug_lisp_weenie (824771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872034)

Couldn't this theoretically replace the internet altogether? Once the densities of these "s" hotspots is high enough, wouldn't it be theoretically possible to retrieve a page, send an email, etc. without ever having to transmit the message over the internet "proper"?

Re:Whither the Internet? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872131)

Indeed... I can imagine that if it ever got implemented, it would be virtually impossible to put a lid on. Couple that with the Internet itself and I can easily see free broadband internet for everyone.

Re:Whither the Internet? (2, Informative)

DeepRedux (601768) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872166)

At best, this could replace the existing backbone only for limited areas. There is no way this could connect the US and Europe. Even across the US you would have, at best, very constricted bandwidth. If some group organized to put a series of mesh routers across the country, it would still be a trivial amount of bandwidth compared to the existing capacity.

The other problem would be the number of hops required for long distance. If 1,000 hops are needed to go from NY to CA, what would the latency be?

Re:Whither the Internet? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872276)

The other problem would be the number of hops required for long distance. If 1,000 hops are needed to go from NY to CA, what would the latency be?

VOIP... will w<schreck> really... Latency... not... concern <squalchuckaboom> us...

Re:Whither the Internet? (1)

seachief (856189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872367)

Absolutely -- and the creation of a local loop that is NOT dependent on the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs, notably cable and telephone operators).

It's potentially revolutionary..... if you can work out the latency and interference issues. You could run VOIP/wireless VOIP (replace cell phones)/chat/video conferencing/etc across THIS network, NOT the internet. The internet could be connected via a peering agreement, but that's a separate issue. The potential may be huge.

But I'll bet you the shirt off my back that the ILECs will soon step in and ask for legislation from their "friends" in Congress to put the brakes on this.

Grrrrrrr. Call me pessimistic... but hopeful.

Ad-hoc anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872051)

How is this any different than ad-hoc wireless networks. Hardly a novel idea.

Quick let's rush out and spend money on this! (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872068)

After all, this new standard will solve all our problems and stay around so long that it's worth paying $500 extra for something that will cost $0 extra in just 18 months ...

seriously, I'm way more interested in shelling out for a 1 Gigabyte external HD ($89) for a laptop than for this.

I dunno... (1)

blobzorz (864386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872082)

I think that 801.11g is good enough for me.

Intel doing a good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11872119)

In terms of mesh networking Intel seems to be doing a good job. We definitely need more decentralized community networks that offer redundancy and are resilient towards partial outage. This eventually leads to a truly free internet and a great argument for this type of infrastructure is national security. The current "backbone" type of network is suffering from severe bottlenecks and is ways too centralized meaning that if some of the backbone connections go down the entire internet would be affected. The future are definitely free community WiFi networks and its great to see Intel participating in this exciting development.

Does this work for really large networks? (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872196)

This will radically transform WiFi hotspots, allowing the geographical area and available bandwidth on the network to scale with the number of participants.

I suspect not, with thousands of participants, routing may become unmanagable. Also, in the best case bandwidth is only going to increase by the number of distinct paths between endpoints (a chain is only as strong as its weakest link). But, I suspect once an optimum path is chosen, all traffic will follow that path, and adding more nodes won't improve your bandwidth at all! Unless you seriously beleive this protocol is going to do load balancing over every possible path between the two endpoints, in which case I would suggest you don't have any background in Computer Science.

Tell me when your finished ... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872207)

... introducing a new wireless standard every few months, along with a whole new line of APs, cards, etc..

Until then, I'll stick with my 1000/100 wired LAN.

And it will... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872230)

Greatly increase the amount of noise out there. It will be lovely to see it battle with spectrum-hopping 2.4ghz equipment. Ah, what a fucked up mess it will all be.

Sounds like BitTorrent (1)

School_HK (757129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872259)

It's really similar. By the fact that all the users helps out the network, it just sounds like BitTorrent to me.

Re:Sounds like BitTorrent (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872369)

Er well, not quite. It's really just dynamic routing, with the hardware necessary to make it work over wireless. A slightly better comparison would be Freenet.

Lack of security? (1)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872337)

If each transceiver (i.e. WiFi card) is also a hub that transmits others' packets, what's to stop someone from hacking their card or its drivers then using them to intercept and damage others' packets in a man-in-the-middle style attack?

I'm holding out for (2, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11872345)

"Wireless XML mesh adaptive grid networking high speed premium edition XP ultra pro elite extreme" standard.

Just think about the synergies and win-win go to market opportunities that can be obtained by utilizing it.
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