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Atheros debuts single-chip 802.11g access point

Posted: 17 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:atheros communications? network processor? 802.11g? wlan radio? baseband?

Atheros Communications has combined a network processor with an 802.11g WLAN radio, baseband and media access control to realize the first single-chip 802.11g access point.

Designed to reduce the cost of residential gateway devices, the chip also integrates many discrete components required by previous 11g access points.

The chip, called the AR5006AP-G, builds on Atheros' established 802.11g single-chip technology by adding a 180MHz MIPS R4K as the network processor for full routing capabilities.

"Now you can have a full AP [access point] in a space that's not much bigger than a USB dongle," said Sheung Li, product line manager at Atheros. "We've done it without sacrificing performance. We're fully 802.11i [security] and WME [quality-of-service] compliant." Only memory and about 200 additional discrete components need be added, he said. All told, a complete AP requires a footprint of only 1.5-by-2.5-inches.

Space requirements are based on a memory estimate ranging from 2MB on the low end to a typical implementation of 8MB. With the chip, the company estimates the overall bill-of-materials reduction for a .11g AP to be 20 percent.

The AR5006AP-G is sampling now and is priced at under $13 each in quantities of 10,000. Volume production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2005. Other target embedded applications include media and print servers and external hard-drive storage devices.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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