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Intersil partners with ViXS for video-over-WLANs

Posted: 02 Jul 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intersil? wireless lan? vixs systems? ieee 802.11a networks? xcode?

In an effort to enable the oxymoronic combination of high-quality video-over-wireless LANs, Intersil Corp., a wireless LAN chip developer, has partnered with ViXS Systems, a developer of video networking chip sets and software.

The two-part deal, announced Monday (June 30), targets both 54Mbps IEEE 802.11a networks in the 5GHz band as well as 54Mbps 802.11g WLANs in the 2.45GHz band. It represents the first unbundling of Intersil's established Prism chipset lineup.

The first part of the deal will see ViXS combining its Matrix dual-channel media access control (MAC) and baseband chipset with Intersil's Prism Indigo RF front end for IEEE 802.11a WLANs. In the second part, the two will target 802.11g networks with a software development kit (SDK) that will combine ViXS's Xcode video transrating and transcoding chip with Intersil's Prism GT chipset and Prism Nitro technology. The Xcode IC can adjust the bit rates, resolutions and formats of multiple MPEG video streams in real-time, adapting each stream to changing network bandwidth.

"Intersil has never unbundled its chips before. They now see the value of doing so with the features the dual-channel Matrix chipset brings to the table," said Hugh Chow, vice president of engineering at ViXS.

The Matrix MAC/PHY chipset is essentially two channels joined at the hip, Chow said, allowing for high-quality video by shunting slower traffic to one channel while keeping the other as the equivalent to an express lane on a highway. The chipset incorporates technologies such as maximum ratio combining and 802.11e-based Wireless Multimedia Extensions QoS features.

According to Chow, the use of maximum ratio combining, versus the simpler switched diversity, provides 6dB more sensitivity on the receive side.

With respect to the bundling of Xcode with Prism GT, Chow said ViXS was being continually asked by potential Xcode customers which WLAN chip set was best to mate with its chip. "We decided to just produce a package with which designers could get up and running quickly and reliably," he said. The Xcode chip will sit between the Prism's baseband and MAC and the development kit will be available by the end of July.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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