Princeton University reckon they've discovered the root cause of the iPad's intermittent WiFi connection problems, and rather than a hardware fault - as many early-adopters feared - they believe it's down to how iPhone OS 3.2 handles DHCP leases. They found that in certain circumstances the iPad doesn't renew its DHCP lease, attempting to continue using the same IP address despite whichever router assigned it no longer seeing it as valid (and, potentially, already having assigned it to a different user).
"We've found that we can reliably reproduce the problem by allowing the iPad to lock its screen before DHCP lease renewal time, and then allowing it remain in that state (powered on with its screen locked) until the DHCP lease has expired, assuming the iPad experiences no 802.11 wireless disconnect/reconnect events during that time." Princeton University
Princeton's IT team noticed the issue arise as soon as the first iPads tried to connect to their WiFi network, and so far 22 of the 41 on campus have demonstrated the problem. Workarounds include turning the WiFi on and off through the iPad's settings page, or fully power-cycling the tablet altogether. However they're working with Apple to try and discover a more effective fix that can hopefully be rolled out as an iPhone OS 3.2 update.
[via Everything iPad]