Atheros Intros WLAN Chipsets

Atheros debuts first USB 2.0 WLAN chips with super GTM and super AGTM technology; ships lead-free WLAN chipsets

May 3, 2004

3 Min Read

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets, today introduced the Atheros AR5005UG and AR5005UX, featuring a completely integrated universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 interface. Using these new chipsets, WLAN equipment manufacturers can deliver high-performance 802.11g and 802.11a/g wireless connectivity with Atheros' Super G and Super AG adaptive bandwidth technology to any device with a USB port.

In addition to connecting desktop and laptop PCs, USB 2.0 support enables a new class of wirelessly connected products. This new WLAN application class includes digital video recorders (DVRs), high-quality video conferencing cameras, high-resolution scanners, and high-density storage devices. Any device that has a USB 2.0 port can now access a high-performance 802.11g or 802.11a/g wireless network using an Atheros-based wireless USB product.

Atheros is also introducing industry-leading small-form-factor reference designs based on the AR5005UG and AR5005UX. These designs measure only 2.57 inches by 0.96 inches and substantially reduce the number of discrete components required for implementation.

"Atheros is committed to introducing new products that enhance the wireless user experience," said Colin Macnab, vice president of marketing and business development for Atheros. "By making wireless an easy upgrade option to any device through a USB port, we're enabling our customers to offer high-performance wireless capabilities in a wider array of their products."

Like Atheros' existing WLAN solutions, the AR5005UG and AR5005UX support the latest WLAN security standards in hardware, without performance reduction. These hardware-supported standards include Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) and 802.11i Enhanced Security using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). In contrast, competing wireless LAN products with firmware encryption can suffer a 20-50 percent performance reduction when WPA or AES is enabled. The AR5005UG and AR5005UX also support Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX).

To facilitate the convergence of voice, video, and data communications on wireless networks, the AR5005UG and AR5005UX support the Wireless Media Extensions (WME) Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities defined in the IEEE 802.11e draft standard. For even greater performance, these chips feature Atheros' Super G and Super AG technology, utilizing adaptive bandwidth technology to deliver over 60 Mbps of performance-on-demand throughput based on channel availability. The chips also support Atheros eXtended RangeTM (XR) operation, which enables connections at greater distances from the access point where signals are otherwise too weak to connect.

Atheros is currently sampling the AR5005UG and AR5005UX to its customers. Products based on the AR5005UG and AR5005UX are expected to begin shipping in the third quarter.

In a separate release:

Atheros Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets, today announced that it began shipping lead-free versions of its complete line of WLAN chipsets in the first quarter of 2004. Atheros' lead-free chipsets are part of the company's ongoing efforts to be more environmentally friendly and to help customers meet restrictions imposed by various national bodies throughout the world on the use of lead and other restricted materials in electronic products.

Working with its manufacturing partners, Atheros has developed chipsets that use a tin alloy as an alternative to the lead solder additive that has commonly been used in the chip manufacturing process. Elimination of lead in its chipsets is part of Atheros' comprehensive effort to minimize the environmental impact of its chips and is part of a complete environmental management system that helps customers comply with various guidelines, including those set forth by the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade.

"As an industry-leading wireless chip manufacturer, part of our mission is to develop and make available to our customers products that have little or no negative impact on the environment and the general health of the community here and abroad," said Paul Franklin, vice president of operations for Atheros. "We will continue to be vigilant regarding changes in environmental regulation globally which tend to be ever-changing in order to better help our customers stay abreast of and compliant with regulation."

Atheros Communications Inc.

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