Atheros releases "cost optimized" draft 11n chipset and network processor line

Posted by Tim Higgins

Santa Clara (CA) - Atheros today announced the launch of a cost-optimized draft 802.11n chipset featuring a 2x2 MIMO design. It also introduced a line of network processors.

The AR5008V chipset is a "highly integrated", cost-optimized solution for price-sensitive applications. It is a 2x2 MIMO solution, based on Atheros' XSPAN technology and provides PCI and PCIe host interface support. The line includes four products with 2.4GHz and 2.4 / 5GHz versions of client and AP chipsets.

The AR7100 family of network processors is optimized for WLAN AP/router applications. The first two models are the AR7100B (300 MHz with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports) and the AR7100P (400 MHz with dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports).

Features include a high-performance MIPS-based processor core, 33/66 MHz PCI interface and dual Ethernet ports for LAN and WAN connectivity. Also included are dual USB 2.0 interfaces, a PCM interface to support analog and VoIP telephony and an I S interface to support audio streaming applications.

Although the new wireless chipset's key attribute is lower cost, Atheros did not provide pricing information or even percentage cost savings. The company also did not say why it was focusing on reducing the cost of draft 11n products. Virtually all reviews of draft 11n products to day have cited interoperability and interference problems with legacy 802.11b and g equipment, which have yet to be addressed.

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