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Broadcom adds Wi-Fi GbE processor to Intesi-fi line

Posted: 12 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? Gigabit Ethernet? processor? Ethernet? Broadcom?

Broadcom Corp. has announced a Wi-Fi GbE processor that extends its Intensi-fi family of draft-802.11n solutions. Although current generations of 802.11n products deliver four times the throughput of 802.11g, performance is actually bottlenecked by the Fast Ethernet switch and network processor. By integrating a GbE controller and increasing the processor's clock speed, Broadcom's latest offering eliminates those bottlenecks, allowing the system to achieve the theoretical maximum wireless 802.11n performance, nearly eight times that of 802.11g. The Wi-Fi GbE processor is available today in products from leading OEMs, including Linksys and Buffalo.

160Mbps Wi-Fi throughput
In real-world tests conducted by Broadcom and validated by a third-party testing company, products powered by the Broadcom BCM4705 GbE processor produced Wi-Fi throughput in excess of 160Mbps. In addition, highlighting the power of the Intensi-fi architecture, these products have also demonstrated a consistent data throughput of up to 200Mbps and achieved over 250Mbps in a simultaneous dual band configuration in "clean air" laboratory tests.

"The performance of draft-802.11n wireless routers shouldn't be gated by associated networking components that can keep these products from reaching the performance targets of the forthcoming 802.11n standard," said Rahul Patel, director of marketing for Broadcom's WLAN business unit. "By offering the industry's highest performing Wi-Fi network processor, Broadcom is enabling manufacturers to deliver premium access points, routers and residential gateways that deliver the full value of 802.11n networking."

This network processor provides a significant boost in performance compared to other draft-802.11n processors, while maintaining compliance with the current draft of the standard. Products based on the BCM4705 will provide the bandwidth needed to wirelessly stream high-definition video content throughout a typical home and support the increasingly diverse ecosystem of Wi-Fi products being adopted by consumers.

The highly integrated BCM4705 processor combines a powerful 300MHz/500 DMIPS MIPS32 core and GbE controller to provide high-speed routing and bridging capabilities. When implemented with Broadcom's Intensi-fi radio and MAC/baseband chips, the BCM4705 processor can enhance the throughput of devices connected to a Gigabit networkproviding greater than 160Mbps of TCP/IP throughput for wireless clients while also offering GbE speeds for wired clients.

Performance-to-cost balance
Broadcom's flexible draft-802.11n processor platform provides several configuration and connectivity options that enable manufacturers to balance performance and cost in developing router/gateway products. The dual-band BCM4705 processor supports 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz radios and accommodates 2-by-2, 3-by-3 and 4-by-4 antenna configurations, enabling single-band, dual-band or simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi routers. The chip also integrates USB 2.0 host/device interfaces, enabling dynamic end products that allow end users to add several application-specific peripherals such as printers, network-attached storage and digital cameras to the Wi-Fi or wired network.

Like all of Broadcom's award-winning Wi-Fi solutions, the BCM4705 processor uses a highly integrated, all-CMOS architecture that enables cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing. In addition, the BCM4705 processor supports Broadcom's OneDriver software, which not only provides a consistent driver platform for manufacturers, but also promises superior performance, ease-of-use and security features.

Broadcom's high-performance AirForce WLAN product line includes 54g, said to be the most popular Wi-Fi technology, and Intensi-fi. In addition to transceiver solutions that provide single- and dual-band wireless connectivity, Broadcom integrates wireless network processors, communications technologies and its OneDriver software solutions into reference designs that speed customer time-to-market.

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