WLAN Chips integrate 2-stream 802.11n designs.

Press Release Summary:

Targeting PC and broadband CPE markets, AR9287 PCIe and AR9227 PCI deliver full MIMO transmit and receive performance. Each integrates MAC/baseband and radio transceiver, 2 MIMO power amplifiers and low noise amplifiers, and transmit/receive switch, all on single chip. Suited for mid-tier notebook and netbook PCs, Model AR9287 delivers up to 300 Mbps PHY rates in both transmit and receive modes. Model AR9227 is intended for entry-level and mid-tier DSL, PON, and other broadband-enabled APs.

Original Press Release:

Atheros Builds on the Success of its Industry-Leading XSPAN® 11n Family

Advanced Integration of 2-stream 11n Designs Enables No-Compromise, Full MIMO Performance in a Wider Array of Wireless Devices

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 5, 2009 - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced the industry's most integrated 2-stream 11n solutions, the AR9287 PCIe and the AR9227 PCI, which deliver no-compromise, full MIMO transmit and receive performance. Atheros has taken system integration to a new level, driving refinements in XSPAN, the industry's most widely deployed 11n technology, to make the high-performance WLAN solution accessible in an even wider array of wireless products.

The two new designs, which target the PC and broadband consumer premises equipment (CPE) markets, integrate the MAC/baseband and radio transceiver, two enhanced MIMO power amplifiers and low noise amplifiers, and the transmit/receive switch, all onto a single chip. As a result of this extraordinary integration, these highly optimized and cost-effective designs will enable a new class of 11n products.

No-Compromise, Full MIMO Transmit and Receive Performance for Mid-Tier PCs

The Atheros AR9287 single-chip PCIe solution for mid-tier notebook and netbook PCs offers greater performance and value over alternative value-class and mid-tier 11n solutions, including 1x2 designs. Atheros' new MIMO design for PCs delivers up to 300 Mbps PHY rates in both transmit and receive modes.

With more entry-level and mid-tier notebooks and netbooks supporting peer-to-peer networking applications, transmit performance is just as important as receive to support simultaneous connections between the PC and a variety of clients. With Atheros Direct Connect(TM) technology, which is forward compatible to the forthcoming Wi-Fi Alliance® P2P standard and featured in all Atheros' 11n client solutions, notebooks and netbooks can, in effect, establish a direct link with each other without the use of an access point (AP).

Given this newly expanded role in the network, PCs offering symmetrical performance on transmit and receive offer significant benefits over asymmetrical systems. For this reason, Atheros' entire 11n portfolio now offers symmetrical designs consisting of the Align(TM) 1x1, and XSPAN 2x2 single and dual-band configurations.

Industry's Most Optimized 11n 2x2 Design for Broadband CPE

The AR9227 single-chip PCI solution for the broadband networking market has been expressly designed for entry-level and mid-tier DSL, PON and other broadband-enabled APs, such as residential gateways and cable modems. It features more than a 50 percent reduction in rest of bill of materials (RBOM) costs over competing 11n 2x2, single-band solutions. This extraordinary RBOM advantage enables carrier equipment manufacturers to provide customers with robust, wireless-enabled residential gateways that meet the increasing demands for design and cost efficiencies.

Carriers can pair the new 2-stream PCI solution with either the AR9280 dual-band PCIe or the AR9220 dual-band PCI designs to create highly optimized 2.4/5GHz dual-band, dual-concurrent solutions for advanced multimedia networking in the home.

"Leveraging our world-class integration expertise, Atheros has enhanced our highly successful XSPAN technology, and made it even more efficient," said Ben Naskar, vice president and general manager of the Networking Business Unit for Atheros. "Now an entirely new class of value- and mid-tier devices can benefit from the full MIMO performance and functionality of XSPAN's 2-stream 11n."

Atheros' comprehensive 11n portfolio is unmatched with performance and feature options that address the broad design requirements of the company's extensive customer base. In the value-class notebook, netbook, router and CE segments, Atheros features its Align 1-stream, single-band solutions. To customers building mid-tier PCs, routers, broadband-enabled gateways, and cable modems, Atheros provides its XSPAN 2-stream, single-band solutions. And, for advanced multimedia applications and higher performance platforms in premium PCs, enterprise, retail home networking and CE designs, Atheros leverages its market-proven XSPAN 11n 2-stream dual-band, selectable and dual-concurrent solutions.

"The recent ratification of the IEEE 802.11n standard is a major accomplishment for the industry given its multiple performance and feature options," said Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst of iSuppli "We expect the 11n 2-stream, single-band configuration to continue to be the de facto solution for the mid-tier PC and equipment markets with MIMO performance that's now within reach for an expanding number of devices."

The new PCIe solution shares Atheros' common software code across its XSPAN portfolio of 1x1, and 2x2 single- and dual-band solutions, which simplifies product design and accelerates time-to-market. It supports Atheros Direct Connect(TM) Technology, Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows 7®, Mac OS® and Linux® operating systems, as well as Cisco Compatible Extensions.

The PCI solution supports Linux. In addition, both solutions include support for industry standards WMM® (Wi-Fi Multimedia(TM)) and Wi-Fi Protected Setup(TM).

Product Availability

The AR9287 PCIe and AR9227 PCI reference designs are sampling to customers now. For more information about the new generation of 2x2 11n solutions, please visit www.atheros.com.

About Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications is a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Atheros combines its wireless and networking systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufactured on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer, networking equipment and consumer device manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.atheros.com or send an email to info@atheros.com.

Atheros, the Atheros logo, XSPAN, Efficient Power Amplifier, Direct Connect and Align are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.


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