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802.11n routers promise maximum wireless home experience

Posted: 10 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WLAN 802.11n router? Wi-Fi? wireless LAN? VoIP?

Broadcom Corp. has rolled three WLAN router solutions with integrated processors that will enable a full line of 802.11n routers with industry-leading performance and consumer-friendly cost points.

"The proliferation of video and mobile services into the home is not only creating new usage models for communications and entertainment devices, but imposing new requirements for network infrastructure to support multimedia applications," said Chandra Viswanathan, senior product line manager for Broadcom's WLAN business. "The new Broadcom 802.11n solutions are optimized to deliver maximum performance for video, VoIP and gaming applications throughout the digital home. At the same time, we have achieved new levels of integration to reset the bar for low-cost routers."

New devices
Announced today are the Broadcom BCM4716, BCM4717 and BCM4718 WLAN solutions, which provide Wi-Fi vendors with a single platform to build single-band and dual-band 802.11n routers with distinct feature sets and price points.

Each of the new solutions combines most of the elements needed to build a 2-stream 802.11n router(i), including a MIPS 74K processor, onto a single monolithic die. Broadcom's highly integrated 65nm designs reduce the number of system components, which lowers the rest of BOM cost by up to 35 percent. The new solutions further reduce cost by using two-layer PCBs, making high-end routers more affordable to consumers and bringing the price of basic 802.11n routers within the range of 802.11g products.

The BCM4716 integrates a high performance 300MHz CPU architecture to provide the optimal balance of performance and cost for basic WLAN routers that connect to Fast Ethernet and GbE networks. By leveraging extreme chip integration, the single-band (2.4GHz) solution reduces the cost premium of 802.11n over 802.11g.

The BCM4717 provides dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz) capabilities in a small package for WLAN routers, access points, STBs and DTVs, in which compact form factors are important. The highly integrated package also integrates a high performance 300MHz CPU and offers options for Fast Ethernet and GbE PHYs.

The BCM4718 integrates a 533MHz CPU with high performance memory architecture to push the limits of simultaneous dual-band performance for high-end GbE routers, and features USB host ports to support media storage routers. Simultaneous dual-band routers are increasingly popular as more Wi-Fi users dedicate the 5GHz portion of their wireless networks for video streaming and VoIP calls, and use the 2.4GHz band for traditional data applications. Broadcom's Intensi-fi platform was the industry's first to offer regulatory certification for dynamic frequency selection (DFS), which provides Wi-Fi users with 15 additional channels on which to transmit video, voice and data.

The router solutions leverage OneDriver software to provide a consistent set of features that deliver superior performance, ease-of-use and security for Intensi-fi based products. OneDriver software also includes support for Linux, VxWorks and NetBSD operating systems and is Microsoft Vista Basic/Premium certified.

The BCM4716, BCM4717 and BCM4718 WLAN solutions are now sampling to early access customers with production quantities expected to ship in Q3 08. Pricing is available upon request.

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