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PR Broadcom Delivers Industry’s First Wi-Fi® Solutions Designed to Comply with IEEE 802.11n Draft Specification

by Staff Writer | posted on 20 January 2006


Intensi-fi™ Technology Provides Unparalleled Performance and Robust Wireless LAN Connections to Enable Flawless Multimedia Experience

IRVINE, Calif. – January 19, 2006 – Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors, today announced the availability of its new Intensi-fi™ family of wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets, the first solutions designed to comply with the IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Intensi-fi technology delivers superior performance and robust wireless connectivity throughout a home or office, enabling next generation Wi-Fi® devices to offer a flawless multimedia experience by supporting emerging voice, video and data applications.


“Broadcom is pleased that the IEEE has confirmed the 802.11n draft specification,” said Dr. Henry Samueli, Broadcom’s Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer. “We have been active participants in the standards process and are very happy to see the industry achieve technical consensus. With today’s announcement, Broadcom is excited to deliver on our promise of interoperable, next generation wireless products for our customers and consumers.”


Intensi-fi technology incorporates all mandatory elements of the IEEE 802.11n draft specification and is designed to be software upgradable once the standard is finalised. Adherence to industry standards is a priority for Broadcom, because it eliminates the compatibility and performance issues that plague users of proprietary, non-standard products. Broadcom will continue to participate in the standards process through ratification, ensuring that its solutions will comply with the final 802.11n specification.


“Now that we have the technical foundation for the 802.11n standard, the Wi-Fi market will begin to experience renewed growth as vendors deliver next-generation wireless devices,” said Philip Solis, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “We expect suppliers like Broadcom to capitalise on this opportunity by introducing advanced solutions that promise interoperability and upgradability when the standard is completed, just as it did with its draft 802.11g solutions.”


Broadcom is working closely with other industry leaders to demonstrate real-world interoperability among brands as draft-802.11n products become available. Broadcom is also providing technical resources to the Wi-Fi Alliance to accelerate an industry-wide 802.11n interoperability test procedure. Broadcom anticipates that the creation of the 802.11n standard will clarify the high-end of the wireless LAN market, alleviating consumer confusion caused by the non-compatible, proprietary solutions that have been previously introduced.


Built to Stream HD Video, Voice and Music

Intensi-fi technology supports multiple simultaneous data (or “spatial”) streams over multiple transmit and receive antennas to provide data rates of over 300 Mbps and more robust coverage than legacy 802.11 products – which use one transmitter and one receiver to support a single data stream. This provides sufficient bandwidth, range and reliability to deliver high definition (HD) video to each room of a typical home. To deliver a flawless multimedia experience, Intensi-fi technology will extend beyond traditional PCs and networking gear into consumer electronics and entertainment devices – providing the infrastructure necessary to send movies, photos, music, voice calls and data among cable/DSL/satellite set-top boxes, personal video recorders, DVD players, gaming systems, audio equipment, cameras, cell phones and other handheld devices.


“The forthcoming 802.11n standard will drive unprecedented growth for the Wi-Fi market and become the next mainstream WLAN technology,” said Michael Hurlston, General Manager of Broadcom’s Home and Wireless Business Unit. “This is the first of many Broadcom products that will enable our partners to create an ecosystem of interoperable products that satisfy the requirements of next generation wireless networks.”


Intensi-fi products will also enhance the experience of users of the nearly 75 million existing products based on Broadcom’s industry leading Wi-Fi technologies. Intensi-fi products employ superior maximum ratio combining (MRC) techniques that enable legacy devices to achieve even greater performance and range. By making the most of their existing Wi-Fi equipment, Intensi-fi maximises the customers’ investment and protects their networks from immediate obsolescence.


The Next Chapter in Technical Leadership

The Intensi-fi solution includes a MAC/baseband chip and a radio chip that can be configured for a variety of high-speed wireless applications. Broadcom also offers two network processors that allow customers to optimise cost versus performance for wireless router designs. The complete portfolio includes the following all-CMOS components:

BCM4321 – The world’s first media access controller (MAC) and baseband compliant with the 802.11n draft specification, providing PHY rates of over 300 Mbps and interfacing to PCI, Cardbus and PCI-Express® hosts;
BCM2055 – Broadcom’s fifth-generation 802.11 radio, which integrates multiple 2.4 and 5 GHz radios to support simultaneous spatial streams for draft 802.11n products with 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 antenna configurations. The BCM2055 is the best-performing 802.11 radio, featuring smaller die size, lower power consumption, and lower phase noise and error vector magnitude (EVM) than competing products – all of which are critical for high-throughput draft 802.11n systems;
BCM4704 – Broadcom’s proven fifth-generation wireless network processor, which provides advanced routing/bridging capabilities and is tuned to meet the performance targets of the draft 802.11n chipset for router and gateway designs;
BCM4705 – Broadcom’s sixth-generation wireless network processor, which supports simultaneous operation of 2.4 and 5 GHz radios and integrates a Gigabit Ethernet MAC to enable greater than 100 Mbps throughput between draft 802.11n and Ethernet networks.

Like all of Broadcom’s award-winning Wi-Fi solutions, Intensi-fi chipsets utilize an all-CMOS architecture. This not only enables highly-integrated and highly-efficient chipsets, but also sets forth a path to single-chip solutions for cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing. Intensi-fi chipsets operate in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands, which allows them to work with millions of 802.11a/b/g devices already on the market. In addition, Intensi-fi solutions leverage Broadcom’s proven OneDriver™ software to deliver superior performance, ease-of-use and security features. This includes SecureEasySetup™ software, innovative technology that allows consumers to install and secure a complete wireless network with the push of a button and the click of a mouse. The OneDriver implementation also supports Wireless Multimedia™ (WMM™), which provides quality of service and improves the user experience by prioritising audio, video and voice traffic on a Wi-Fi network.


Availability

Broadcom is now sampling Intensi-fi chipsets. The company has also developed the following reference designs to speed development time for Wi-Fi device manufacturers.

2.4/5 GHz draft 802.11n mini PCI reference design (BCM94321MP) – can be integrated into desktop and notebook PCs or designed into broadband routers and cable/DSL gateways;
2.4/5 GHz draft 802.11n PCI Express reference designs (BCM94321MC) – can be incorporated into notebook designs that support the new PCI Express bus architecture;
2.4/5 GHz draft 802.11n cardbus reference design (BCM94321CB2) – can be used to manufacture after-market client cards.
Draft 802.11n router/gateway reference design (BCM94704NR) – can be used to host BCM94321MP or BCM94321CB2 designs for implementation of single- or dual-band router systems.

About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation is a global leader in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors. Our products enable the convergence of high-speed data, high definition video, voice and audio at home, in the office and on the go. Broadcom provides manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices with the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with annual revenue of more than $2 billion. The company is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at www.broadcom.com.


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