Intersil Powers 3Com 802.11g

3Com introduces new family of 802.11g-compliant WLAN access point, gateway, and PC card, all based on Intersil's Prism GT chipset

June 18, 2003

6 Min Read

NEW YORK -- 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) today unveiled its new family of fully complaint 802.11g wireless offerings - the 3Com(R) OfficeConnect(R) Wireless 11g solution - at CeBIT America. 3Com's new 802.11g wireless solution is ideally suited for the small or home office as well as emerging enterprises and wireless "hot spot" locations. Today's announcement raises the bar by offering high-speed, plug-and-play wireless devices that are among the first to ship with fully compliant 802.11g standards that increase data rates five-times faster than existing 802.11b standards and 256-bit WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption for added protection against unwarranted access to data transmissions.

"The 3Com OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution addresses two major issues with existing wireless product offerings: speed and security," said Robert Winch, 3Com's director, responsible for OfficeConnect solutions. "By combining the new robust encryption techniques with the industry's new high speed, long-range wireless connectivity standards, 3Com is able to offer a competitively priced solution with 54 Mbps data rate and 256-bit security encryption at a distance of over 300 feet from the access point to PC card."

Based in Portland, Ore., beta customer Current Communications, underscores the ease of installation and welcomed speed increase the OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution brings to their multimedia business.

"Current Communications is a six-employee company that relies on the speed of the network to produce multimedia sales training and marketing materials for Nike, news stories for NBC and outdoor adventure series for our 3Peaks Productions group," said Jay Rymeski, president and executive producer, Current Communications. "Re-cabling the office to add new connectivity ports and high-speed connections was too costly for our limited budget. However, when we plugged in 3Com's new OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution, we instantly tripled our throughput from anywhere in the office and saved the expense of hiring a professional to reconfigure the network."

3Com's new OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution is among the first wireless products to ship with full Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11g(TM) standardization and new Wi-Fi Protection Access (WPA) security.

The new 802.11g standards simply combines the 54 Megabit Per Second (Mbps) speed of the existing IEEE 802.11a(TM) standards with the long-range wireless connectivity of 328 feet associated with the IEEE's existing 802.11b(TM) standards, into a uniformed method of providing faster speeds and greater distances from a wireless access point to a wireless PC card.

The new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) overcomes security limitations found in current wireless connectivity devices by strengthening the encryption of wireless packets to 256-bit encryption - in essence, better scrambling techniques for wireless data transmissions so the risk of unauthorized access is minimized significantly.

3Com's new OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution includes three individual devices.

-- 3Com(R) OfficeConnect(R) Wireless 11g Access Point - Aside from the 802.11g compliance and WPA security, the new access point can be configured as a client bridge or an access point and provides Clear Channel Select and easy set up of wireless profiles.

-- 3Com(R) OfficeConnect(R) Wireless 11g Gateway - The wireless gateway also incorporates 802.11g, WPA and Clear Channel attributes found in the access point as well as additional wired security including: stateful packet inspection firewall, hacker pattern detection, VPN pass through, NAT and URL filtering.

-- 3Com(R) OfficeConnect(R) Wireless 11g PC Card - The wireless PC card incorporates 802.11g compliance and WPA security with features such as Wireless Card Manager, enabling the network administrator to perform wireless profiles and site scan/browse techniques.

"We have producers walking into our office with their laptops in hand looking for network connectivity to download their edit decision lists, title graphics and animation files. By simply adding the OfficeConnect Wireless 11g PC Card to their laptop, we are now able to immediately provide the customer with high-speed access through the fiber channel, and onto the media storage network which houses all their project elements," Rymeski added.

In a separate release:

MILPITAS, Calif. -- Intersil Corporation (Nasdaq:ISIL), a world leader in the design and manufacture of high performance analog and wireless networking solutions, today announced that 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq:COMS), has selected Intersil's PRISM GT(TM) Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN) chip set for their new 3Com(R) OfficeConnect(R) Wireless 11g solution consisting of an access point (AP), gateway and PC card. The OfficeConnect Wireless AP and gateway are designed with Intersil's Wireless System-on-a-Chip (WiSOC(TM)). The ISL3893 WiSOC is the world's most highly integrated AP chip solution that eliminates the need for a separate network processor. This enables Intersil to offer the industry's lowest total bill of materials for an AP or gateway design.

3Com's new OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution of PRISM GT-based products are among the world's first wireless products to ship fully compliant with the new 802.11g industry standard -- enabling increased security, faster speeds and greater distance. 3Com's 802.11g products incorporate PRISM Nitro(TM)and the PRISM SingleSource(TM) Driver suite, the WLAN industry's leading implementation of IEEE approved protection mechanism technology, and the WLAN industry's first and most comprehensive security software solution. Intersil's new security solution enables 3Com to seek Wi-Fi Protected Access(TM) (WPA) certification for all its PRISM GT-based products.

"In order to offer the industry the best possible product solutions ahead of the competition, you need to form tight synergies with best-in-class partners. 3Com and Intersil have combined forces to merge 3Com's enterprise-class standards, yielding a true plug-and-play, cost-effective solution with Intersil's PRISM GT chip set, offering superior throughput performance and industry leading security features such as WPA," said Robert Winch, 3Com's director, responsible for OfficeConnect solutions.

PRISM Nitro technology is a firmware upgrade that is part of Intersil's SingleSource Driver suite. The SingleSource Driver is a comprehensive driver package that supports all PRISM(R) WLAN solutions (PRISM 3, PRISM GT and PRISM Duette(TM) client and AP solutions). PRISM Nitro is different from other solutions because it is not a proprietary solution and doesn't require a specific combination of clients and access points. PRISM Nitro is designed to work with any 802.11g-compliant solution, as well as the existing installed base of 802.11b systems.

"Intersil's PRISM GT WLAN solution is the first chip set to fully support protection mechanisms as required by the newly approved 802.11g Standard. This provides 3Com with proven reliability, excellent range, best-in-class throughput and the industry's first complete security software solution for their new 802.11g access point, gateway and PC card," said Larry Ciaccia, vice president and general manager of Intersil's Wireless Networking Product Group. "3Com's new suite of wireless OfficeConnect products are designed to fully support the 802.11g standard while delivering the same throughput of 802.11a at over twice the range, and over five times the throughput of 802.11b products."

3Com Corp.

Intersil Corp.

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