Broadcom Supports WPA2

Broadcom's wireless LAN solutions WiFi certified for WPA2

September 1, 2004

2 Min Read

IRVINE, Calif. -- Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) , a leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, today announced that its AirForce(TM) wireless LAN access point and client reference designs are among the first products to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED(TM) for WPA2(TM) (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2). Driven by the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA2 certification ensures that wireless LAN products based on Broadcom(R) AirForce(TM) chipsets are interoperable with other products implementing WPA2 security features. The Wi-Fi Alliance has also chosen Broadcom's popular IEEE 802.11a/g access point reference design (the BCM94712P) and 802.11g CardBus reference design (the BCM94306M) to be used in the certification process for other Wi-Fi(R) products in the WPA2 test environment.

"WPA2 is the next major step towards securing Wi-Fi networks for business, government and home applications," said David Cohen, Senior Marketing Manager for Broadcom's Home & Wireless Networking Business Unit. "Broadcom is proud to be among the first vendors to have its products certified for WPA2, and will continue to provide equipment manufacturers with the latest building blocks to meet the security requirements of all Wi-Fi customers."

WPA2 is the next-generation Wi-Fi security standard, combining the most powerful authentication and encryption techniques to protect wireless networks from unauthorized use. Based upon the recently-ratified IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 adds the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to the original WPA(TM) specification to provide the greatest levels of network security available. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advocates the use of AES security to protect sensitive digital information on government networks.

All 802.11g and 802.11a/g Wi-Fi products shipped based on Broadcom technology feature an on-chip AES encryption/decryption engine, which maintains maximum performance when running the computationally-intensive AES algorithm. Thanks to this built-in hardware support, all new and existing products based on Broadcom's wireless LAN solutions can be upgraded to the new WPA2 standard with a simple software download. In contrast, products attempting to run software-based AES are likely to experience severe performance degradation and may require costly hardware changes or full product replacement to properly employ the 802.11i security standard.

"The ratification of 802.11i by the IEEE and the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification process for WPA2 will be a boost to the enterprise Wi-Fi market," said Phil Solis, wireless analyst from ABI Research. "Those Wi-Fi IC vendors who have already been including hardware-based AES implementations in their designs will be able to provide firmware upgrades to existing customers to implement WPA2 without a performance hit."

Broadcom Corp.

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