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RE: [802SEC] Note the Author of 802.11 / JEDEC article / editor of Semiconduct or Business News


Of course there is one example of the "one company, one vote" changing the
outcome of the standardization process significantly.  That example is the
choice of the Intersil CCK modulation method for 802.11b over an alternative
method proposed by Micrilor.


-----Original Message-----
From: Geoff Thompson [] 
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2002 10:45 AM
To: Matthew Sherman
Cc: '';
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Note the Author of 802.11 / JEDEC article / editor of
Semiconduct or Business News


RE: Thus there is some flexibility within IEEE to deal with companies that 
attempt to "stack the deck".  But I should note that this rule is rarely 
invoked, as it is rarely needed.

I trust that you realize that we are having this very problem at the moment.
Also I would note that in many instances in the past where there have been 
suspicions of block voting, the chair has taken a straw poll by company. 
The vast majority of the time the results of the straw poll do not inidcate 
a different outcome.

Good luck,


At 01:04 PM 4/4/02 -0500, Matthew Sherman wrote:
>From: Matthew Sherman <>
>To: "''" <>
>Subject: [802SEC] Note the Author of 802.11 / JEDEC article / editor of 
>         or Business News
>Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 13:04:46 -0500
>SEC Members,
>While the issue over the recent Semiconductor Business New article on
>has been largely resolved, there was one minor point in my mind that
>uncorrected.  I think it is more a matter of opinion, so I have decided to
>express mine to the author and the editor.  Below please find the letter I
>intend to send by e-mail.  It represents my personal opinion.  I do not
>to include my company affiliation, and will represent myself purely as an
>IEEE P802 participant.  Still, I felt I should let people have a look at it
>in case they would like to comment.  Please let me know if you do.
>Dear Mr. LaPedus,
>I recently read your article titled "JEDEC takes aim at defining wireless
>LAN chip standards" in Semiconductor Business News (
>  While I found
>article interesting, there was one point you made that I felt was highly
>biased.  In the article you state:
>         "But one of the main problems with the IEEE is that chip makers
>systems houses can "stack the deck" in the standards process, according to
>sources. In other words, every individual from a particular group or
>has a vote in the standards process, sources said."
>I note that your sources are unnamed.  I also note that many other
>might disagree with this statement.  I for one (as an IEEE 802 participant)
>do not agree, and felt it might help if I clarified the IEEE process a
>The assumption in IEEE P802 is that people attend and represent themselves
>as individuals.  They are required by the rules governing membership to
>place their company affiliations aside, and vote their technical conscience
>on the matters they participate in.  Of course this is an idealized
>scenario, and people do sometimes reflect their companies interests in
>opinion.  However this is less common than you might think.  Many engineers
>tend to be idealist, and do cling to the concepts of democracy and free
>thinking.  I will often see split votes within companies, and no company I
>am aware of forces there employees to vote according to a company platform.
>Still, any process is open to abuse, and sometimes voting based on
>policy does occur.  IEEE P802 is aware of this possibility, and in its
>explicitly allows for a Working Group chairperson to "Determine if the
>Working Group is dominated by an organization, and, if so, treat that
>organizations' vote as one".  Thus there is some flexibility within IEEE to
>deal with companies that attempt to "stack the deck".  But I should note
>that this rule is rarely invoked, as it is rarely needed.  The standards
>developed in IEEE normally represent a broad consensus among many
>individuals, and in fact companies.
>Regarding the use of a one company, one vote approach, this has often been
>discussed within IEEE, but does not appear to have obvious advantage over
>the existing system.  First, it too is open to abuse.  Many participants in
>IEEE are independent consultants who run their own companies.  While they
>are often funded by other larger companies there is no way to determine
>which large companies the consultants represent.  Thus by "buying" a number
>of small consulting companies, a large corporation can still "stack the
>deck".  Also, I am aware of a number of individuals who for various reasons
>actually do attend IEEE on their own dollar, and don't have any company
>affiliation.  How would these individuals be allowed to vote and
>My own opinion is that there is much to be gained from the open, democratic
>standards process currently practiced in IEEE.  Using a one company, one
>vote standardization process has it own advantages and pitfalls, but I see
>no clear and compelling reason why it would be any fairer than the current
>process used by IEEE today.  I ask that this letter be published as an
>editorial so that a more balanced view of your statements can be had by the
>Semiconductor Business News readership.
>Matthew Sherman