More news on 802.11g: Details Via Texas Instruments: TI sent me the following info:
Yesterday evening the IEEE 802.11g task group voted on a compromise from TI, Intersil and other member companies as the new draft standard for 802.11g. The draft standard makes 802.11a data rates (up to 54Mbps) available in the 2.4GHz band with interoperability with existing 802.11b devices, which paves the way for multi-mode WLAN devices. Here is a quick look at the 802.11g draft standard.
Mandatory modes: OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) operating in the 2.4GHz band. OFDM is the modulation for 802.11a today which is why the new draft standard provides data rates up to 54Mbps in the 2.4GHz band.
802.11b mode (CCK) to offer compatibility and interoperability with 802.11b (Wi-Fi) devices.
Optional modes: PBCC-22 which was TI's proposal for the 802.11g standard. This provides 22Mbps data rates and compatibility with 802.11b since it includes 1-11Mbps transmission rates which are defined in the 802.11b standard.
CCK-OFDM which was Intersil's proposal for the 802.11g standard. This is not to be confused with CCK in the 802.11b standard, they are not the same.
Intersil describes accommodation for 802.11g: it's odd to turn to a press release for information, but it appears that the story that emerged yesterday from the IEEE 802.11 Task Group G is that a solution for that spec was approved that allows the choice of Intersil's OFDM or Texas Instruments's PBCC modulations in 802.11g. Of course, this only make Balkanization at that speed a policy, not an accident.
Having two encodings means that devices can be released with chipsets that are compatible up to the 802.11b speed, with higher speeds restricted to devices that supported one or the other. Because of not-invented-here issues, I believe it's unlikely we will see chipsets from Intersil or TI supporting both encodings. This may open a market opportunity for other chipmakers, as I believe that IEEE requires cross-licensing agreements from any patents that are considered as part of their specs. In which case, a third party could license both patents and create adapative chipsets.