Chipset and Processors meet draft 802.11n specifications.

Press Release Summary:

Featuring 2 x 2 MIMO design, AR5008V XSPAN(TM) chipset is supported by AR7100 family of network processors, which includes 300 MHz AR7100B with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports and 400 MHz AR7100P with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both processors include MIPS-based processor core, 33/66 MHz PCI interface, 32-bit DDR memory controller, and on-chip cache memory. Interfaces include dual USB 2.0, PCM interface for telephony support, and I(2)S interface for audio streaming.

Original Press Release:

Atheros Launches XSPAN Value Solutions Featuring the Company's First Advanced Network Processor

New WLAN Chipset Paired with Atheros' NPU Drives Draft 802.11n Networking Products Toward Mainstream Market Adoption

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 28 // -- Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced the launch of its AR5008V XSPAN(TM) chipset, a high-performance, cost-optimized draft 802.11n solution featuring a 2x2 MIMO design. The AR5008V chipset is supported by Atheros' first family of network processors, the AR7100. This pairing reduces the manufacturing costs of draft 802.11n wireless routers and access points (APs), enabling broad adoption of the new, high-performance WLAN technology.

Atheros Launches Network Processor Family for High-Performance WLANs

Unlike general-purpose central processing units (CPUs), Atheros' AR7100 family is optimized for wireless LAN (WLAN) AP/router performance, features and cost. The first two members of the high-performance, scalable AR7100 family are:

o AR7100B -- 300MHz with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports
o AR7100P -- 400MHz with dual 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet ports

To deliver draft optimal 802.11n performance in wireless APs and routers, the Atheros network processors offer an impressive set of features and interfaces, including a high-performance MIPS-based processor core; a 33/66 MHz PCI interface; dual Ethernet ports for LAN and WAN connectivity; a high- speed 32-bit DDR memory controller to support high-bandwidth applications; and on-chip cache memory.

Additionally, Atheros' AR7100 network processors offer a rich array of interfaces to support next-generation triple-play applications, such as dual USB 2.0 interfaces for wireless network storage and printing; a PCM interface to support analog and VoIP telephony; and an I(2)S interface to support audio streaming through the router.

The NPU's processing power results in higher performance for routers and access points that can enable bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications such as streaming high-definition video and MP3 files, while simultaneously supporting latency-sensitive applications such as multi-player video games and voice over Wi-Fi calls.

"Fast processors, particularly those supporting Gigabit Ethernet, maximize draft 802.11n performance, which delivers more than six times greater throughput than the 802.11g or 802.11a standards," said Joseph Byrne, senior analyst with The Linley Group and author of A Guide to SOHO Gateway Processors. "The AR7100, coupled with Atheros' advanced wireless LAN technology, will enable cost-effective, high-performance routers to quickly come to market."

Atheros AR5008V Draft 802.11n WLAN Solutions

The AR5008V family includes the following:
Client Solutions
o AR5008(E)-2NX, 2x2, 2.4/5GHz (PCI, PCI Express)
o AR5008(E)-2NG, 2x2, 2.4GHz only (PCI, PCI Express)

AP/Router Solutions
o AR5008AP-2NX, 2x2, 2.4/5GHz
o AR5008AP-2NG, 2x2, 2.4GHz only

The AR5008V chipset is a highly integrated, cost-optimized solution for Atheros' customers wanting to deliver 802.11n performance at mainstream WLAN prices. The 2x2 solution, based on Atheros' XSPAN technology, achieves cost savings through silicon and other bill of materials cost reductions. It provides PCI and PCIe host interface support for integrating the chipset into laptops, routers and APs.

The chipset, which delivers higher throughput at range than competing 2x2 solutions, provides reliable coverage throughout the home, and up to 300 megabits-per-second (Mbps) physical data rates. This robust coverage enables consumers to enjoy the growing number of bandwidth-hungry wireless applications, conveniently and reliably in any room of the home.

As with the entire Atheros XSPAN family, the AR5008V features all the mandatory technical elements in the Draft 1.0 802.11n specification to ensure interoperability with both legacy devices and draft 802.11n products that adhere to the specification.

The combination of Atheros' XSPAN 2x2 solutions with the 300MHz AR7100B enables complete, high value AP/Router solutions offering draft 802.11n performance at leading retail home networking price points. The 400MHz AR7100P with Gigabit Ethernet capability provides the most robust draft 802.11n performance when paired with Atheros' 3x3 XSPAN solutions with Signal Sustain Technology(TM).

"Atheros is committed to delivering solutions that drive mainstream market adoption of 802.11n technology," said Todd Antes, vice president of marketing for Atheros. "The debut of the new 2x2 member of our highly successful XSPAN family, together with the introduction of our first network processor solutions, delivers a potent combination of high performance and design flexibility that will help our customers bring the benefits of 802.11n to a broad market."

Atheros' XSPAN technology has been widely adopted by leading WLAN product manufacturers worldwide and is featured in retail networking equipment including the Belkin N1 Wireless Networking Line, D-Link's RangeBooster N series, and the Linksys Wireless-N Broadband product line.

Product Availability

The AR5008V chipset and associated AR7100 network processors are currently sampling to key customers.

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, networking equipment and handset manufacturers. For more information, visit or send email to

Source: Atheros Communications, Inc.

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