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Chipset enables 802.11n performance at WLAN prices

Posted: 31 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atheros? AR5008V? XSPAN? 802.11n? network processor?

The AR5008V XSPAN chipset from Atheros

Atheros Communications Inc. has launched the AR5008V XSPAN chipset, a high-performance, cost-optimized draft 802.11n solution featuring a 2x2 MIMO design. The chipset is supported by the company's first family of network processors, the AR7100. This pairing reduces the manufacturing costs of draft 802.11n wireless routers and access points (APs), said Atheros, enabling broad adoption of the new, high-performance WLAN technology.

The AR7100 network processors offer a rich array of interfaces to support next-generation triple-play applications, the company said, such as dual USB 2.0 interfaces for wireless network storage and printing; a PCM interface to support analog and VoIP telephony; and an I?S interface to support audio streaming through the router. The NPU's processing power results in higher performance for routers and access points that can enable bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications such as streaming HD video and MP3 files, while simultaneously supporting latency-sensitive applications such as multiplayer video games and voice-over-Wi-Fi calls.

The AR5008V family includes client solutions, namely, AR5008(E)-2NX, 2x2, 2.4/5GHz (PCI, PCIe) and AR5008(E)-2NG, 2x2, 2.4GHz only (PCI, PCIe); and, AP/router solutions, namely, AR5008AP-2NX, 2x2, 2.4/5GHz and AR5008AP-2NG, 2x2, 2.4GHz only.

According to Atheros, the AR5008V chipset is for customers wanting to deliver 802.11n performance at mainstream WLAN prices. The 2x2 solution, based on the company's XSPAN technology, achieves cost savings through silicon and other BOM cost reductions. It provides PCI and PCIe host interface support for integrating the chipset into laptops, routers and APs.

The chipset, which promises higher throughput at range than competing 2x2 solutions, provides reliable coverage throughout the home, and up to 300Mbps physical data rates. This robust coverage enables consumers to conveniently and reliably enjoy the growing number of bandwidth-hungry wireless applications in any room of the home, the company said.

As with the entire Atheros XSPAN family, the AR5008V features all the mandatory technical elements in the Draft 1.0 802.11n specification to ensure interoperability with both legacy devices and draft 802.11n products that adhere to the specification.

"Atheros is committed to delivering solutions that drive mainstream market adoption of 802.11n technology," said Todd Antes, marketing VP for Atheros. "The debut of the new 2x2 member of our highly successful XSPAN family, together with the introduction of our first network processor solutions, delivers a potent combination of high performance and design flexibility that will help our customers bring the benefits of 802.11n to a broad market."

The AR5008V chipset and associated AR7100 network processors are currently sampling to key customers.

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