When Aruba joined the crowd of people selling fast Wi-Fi systems to enterprise, based on draft 802.11n, were its comparisons all they seemed?

Aruba's new products will operate on existing 802.3af Power over Ethernet installations, because they have the newest generation of draft-N silicon, Aruba told us. But is that really an improvement, or just a more optimistic reading of the same situation?

802.3af promises to deliver a maximum load of 15.4W, of which about 12.95W will be available. But Aruba reckons that in practice, most installations can go up to about 17W in practice, which is enough to support 802.11n access points operating in dual-band mode, in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum.

Fair enough says Trapeze, whose director of technical marketing, Michael Coci got in touch to say that Trapeze uses the same generation of silicon in its draft 802.11n access points, launched in June, that Aruba has. So Trapeze installations, we should assume, can do the same things as the Aruba ones. According to Coci, they've both taken the same reference design and added their own antennas.

No word from Cisco, but we're betting Cisco is on the same silicon too, for its N access point...

Update Or is it ? We've been told that Cisco may be on different silicon - and are awaiting confirmation. The data sheet for its Aironet 1250 access point says the AP needs 16.9W to run both radios, but this requires the PoE installation to deliver 18.5W at the other end of the wire, due to losses. That sounds similar, but it could be an older, higher power module than Trapeze and Aruba.

I couldn't find a data sheet online for Trapeze's 802.11n AP, and Aruba's is shyort on detail. I will ask for confirmation from all concerned.