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Broadcom's new solutions improve 54g connectivity

Posted: 10 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:broadcom? software tool? hardware module? 54g?

Broadcom Corp. has disclosed that its two new solutions will significantly improve wireless connectivity for consumers who use 54g-based equipment in their Wi-Fi networks.

The first is an intelligent software tool that simplifies WLAN network installation and automatically configures security settings. The second is a highly integrated hardware module that can increase the range of 54g-based WLAN devices by up to 50 percent.

According to the company, the new solutions will enable next-generation 54g products not only to deliver higher performance WLAN access, but also to alleviate the usability concerns of many first-time Wi-Fi users.

An intelligent software tool

Installing a Wi-Fi network and setting up security features can be confusing to consumers with no previous knowledge of networking terms and protocols. To eliminate the hassles of network configuration, Broadcom has developed SecureEZSetup software, a two-step setup wizard that simplifies network installation and automates configuration of 54g PCs, adapters, access points and routers.

The software configures both the Service Set Identifier (SSID) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), a standards-based security feature built into all Wi-Fi certified products. Driven by the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA provides robust encryption and authentication techniques for Wi-Fi networks.

The SecureEZSetup is an overlay to WPA that eliminates the manual password entry previously required on each wireless device to enable its security features. The SecureEZSetup wizard prompts the Wi-Fi user with two questions, the answers to which can be easily remembered by the user. The client device then automatically configures the SecureEZSetup-enabled access point or wireless gateway, registers the PC on the network, and installs WPA keys at both ends of the connection. Once registered, 54g-based devices can automatically access the wireless network and send/receive encrypted data without additional configuration or password entry.

A highly integrated hardware module

To help users stay connected to their wireless network at greater distances, Broadcom has developed a power amplifier module that increases the range of 54g-based devices. The module combines all critical WLAN radio frequency (RF) components, including the power amplifier, power detector, switches and filters, into a single chip-sized module.

As a result, PCs and other mobile devices integrating the module can maintain wireless connections at distances up to 50 percent farther from a 54g access point or router, the company said.

Promising to reduce BOM costs of manufacturers by up to 30 percent, the standardized module maintains the quality of RF components and reduces PCB complexity, which increases the consistency of wireless devices and trims manufacturers' testing time.

SecureEZSetup and a customized software development kit are available to Broadcom's PC OEM, retail and broadband modem partners as part of the latest OneDriver software release. According to the company, the 54g power amplifier module is currently being designed into products from leading manufacturing partners.

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