Atheros XSPAN Draft 802.11n Mini Card Reference Designs Achieve Industry's First PCI Express Compatibility Certification

Atheros' AR5008 Draft 802.11n Chipset Certified for Compliance by PCI-SIG

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 7 // -- Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced that both its mini card reference design for laptops based on Atheros' high performance XSPAN(TM) draft 802.11n technology and the Atheros AR5008 draft 802.11n chipset have received PCI Express (PCIe)(TM)(1) compatibility certification.

The Atheros XB72 draft 802.11n mini card reference design is the first in the industry to achieve PCIe compatibility certification. With this qualification, PC manufacturers can minimize product development time and risk of non-compatibility with the PCIe standard while integrating the reference design into new wireless-enabled laptops.

The Atheros AR5008 draft 802.11n chipset, which also received PCIe compatibility certification, is the first member of the company's popular XSPAN family to offer a superior wireless user experience by delivering physical data rates up to 300 megabits-per-second (Mbps). Compared to legacy 802.11g and 802.11a/g technologies, XSPAN delivers more than six times greater throughput and 10 times the range. This leap in wireless LAN (WLAN) performance provides unprecedented support for multimedia applications, including multiple high-definition video transfers, multiplayer wireless gaming, music downloads and latency-sensitive IP telephony, as well as large data file transfers on a single network throughout the home -- simultaneously.

PC manufacturers are rapidly adopting the emerging PCIe standard because it offers advances in I/O performance, form factor and scalability for integration in smaller, lighter and more feature-rich notebook PCs. Having achieved mini card reference design and chipset certifications, Atheros provides PC manufacturers with the only complete solution for assured compatibility and time-to-market benefits of PCIe combined with the high performance of draft 802.11n. Laptops featuring Atheros XSPAN are expected to ship before the end of this year.

"PC manufacturers are now adopting draft 802.11n technology to offer customers a better way of delivering the richness of today's emerging multimedia applications," said Mark Hung, director of marketing for Atheros. "PCI Express compliance gives Atheros' customers a competitive advantage by enabling speedy integration of draft 802.11n technology."

Atheros also has the world's only PCIe-certified 802.11a/b/g and 802.11b/g mini card reference designs already on the worldwide market. The following Atheros mini card solutions now offer PCIe compliance certification:

o XB72 -- 802.11a/b/g/n mini card
o XB62 -- 802.11a/b/g mini card
o XB61 -- 802.11b/g mini card

The following Atheros WLAN chipsets now offer PCIe compliance certification:

o AR5008E draft 1.0 802.11n chipset
o AR5424/3 (AR5006EX) single-chip 802.11a/b/g PCIe CMOS MAC/Baseband/Radio
o AR2424/3 (AR5006EG) single-chip 802.11b/g PCIe CMOS MAC/Baseband/Radio

PCIe compliance tests are available through PCI-SIG's Compliance Workshop ( ).

Systems, add-in cards and other devices that pass interoperability and compliance testing are posted on PCI-SIG's Integrators List ( ).

Vendors must submit a Compliance Check List ( ) for each device being tested.

About Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless communications products. Atheros combines its wireless systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufacturable on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is being used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer and networking equipment manufacturers. For more information, visit or send email to

Atheros, XSPAN and the Atheros logo are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

Source: Atheros Communications, Inc.


Dakota Lee
Atheros Communications

Greg Wood
A&REdelman for Atheros

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