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Network processor targets 802.11n

Posted: 05 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:network processors? processor? processors? 802.11n? 802.11n service?

Atheros Communications Inc. unveiled a network processor for dual-band, dual-concurrent 802.11n networks. Based on a MIPS 24K core, the AR7161 has a 600MHz clock speed and can be used in conjunction with Atheros' AR5008AP-3NX2 dual-band, physical- and MAC-layer chipset.

Harpreet Chohan, senior product-marketing manager at Atheros, said the network processor and associated 802.11n chip set were designed for access-point and router applications, particularly for high-end routers using 3 x 3 multiple-input, multiple-output antennas. A dense antenna configuration will enable wireless LANs that use 27 channels and support 600Mbps data rates when two channels are used concurrently, Chohan said.

The AR7161WNPU expands the cache size to 64KBytes, and all operating code fits within the instruction cache. The processor has a 32-bit double-data-rate synchronous DRAM interface and uses a five-port dedicated memory architecture. External interfaces include Fast/Gigabit Ethernet, USB and PCI.

The 3NX2 chipset comprises dual AR5416 medium access control/baseband ICs; the AR2133 and AR5133 radio chips, to support 2.4GHz and 5GHz services; and the AR7161 network processor. While support of 2.4GHz frequencies will continue to be important in home environments, Chohan said, low-latency services such as streaming video and VoIP will move quickly to the 5GHz band.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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