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Devices accelerate Wi-Fi network deployment

Posted: 25 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? network deployment? Ethernet?

Broadcom Corp. has expanded its network switching portfolio with an end-to-end solution for businesses deploying 802.11n Wi-Fi networks.

The solution combines Broadcom's Intensi-fi silicon with its FASTPATH networking software, which extends the business-critical features from the company's StrataXGS enterprise switches. As a result, enterprise Wi-Fi access points can deliver superior performance and scalability across a customer's entire network. This integrated platform provides significant cost and time-to-market advantages for manufacturers compared to other silicon solutions that do not include the software features that IT managers require.

Enabling connectivity
Announced today are the Broadcom BCM4342 single-chip 802.11n solution and BCM954342EAP enterprise access point reference design. The solutions leverage FASTPATH Unified Access Point software to deliver the features that IT managers require across their wireless networks including robust security, QoS, dynamic channel planning, and support for multiple basic service set identifiers (BSSIDs). The flexible design can be used for standalone access points, as well as for "thin" access points that are managed by a wireless switch or controller running Broadcom's FASTPATH Unified Wireless Switching software. This end-to-end platform provides centralized RF management, seamless mobility and wireless threat detection and prevention across the entire network. FASTPATH UAP eliminates the need for third-party software or in-house development, which can shave months off a manufacturer's development time.

Solving PoE issues
Broadcom's BCM4342 Wi-Fi solution is also the first to address power consumption issues that have slowed business adoption of 802.11n to date. Although dual-band 802.11n access points offer greater bandwidth and capacity than previous products, simultaneous operation of both radios has traditionally exceeded the power limits of the Power over Ethernet (PoE) equipment used in nearly all large networks. This forced IT managers to use two PoE ports for each access point, or upgrade their entire network to support the new PoE+ standard (IEEE 802.3at).

Access points based on the BCM4342 will bring significant performance benefits to corporate Wi-Fi users. Broadcom's architecture delivers data rates of 300Mbit/s and maintains wireless connections over a larger coverage area than other 802.11n solutions. Intensi-fi solutions also offer the greatest wireless capacitywith three non-overlapping channels in the 2.4GHz band and 24 non-overlapping channels in the 5GHz band. This is especially important in enterprise networks, where IT managers rely on dual-band infrastructure to serve a large number of Wi-Fi users and accommodate latency-sensitive applications.

Smart chip
The BCM4342 is a complete SoC solution that accelerates time-to-market and reduces development costs for a variety of 802.11n access points.

It combines an 802.11 medium access controller (MAC), a baseband processor, 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios and other WLAN components onto a single silicon die. This high level of integration reduces the number of components required for a WLAN subsystem by two-thirds, which reduces the footprint and lowers a manufacturer's BOM cost.

The BCM4342 Wi-Fi solution and BCM954342EAP enterprise access point reference design are now sampling to early access customers, with production quantities expected to ship in Q2 08. Pricing is available upon request.

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