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Friday, September 17, 2004
Enhanced WiFi chips integrate USB, enable new applications


The new Atheros AR5005UG and AR5005UX chip sets integrate a USB 2.0 interface for high-performance WLAN (wireless-LAN) applications beyond desktop applications...

...such as digital-video recorders, high-quality videoconferencing cameras, high-resolution scanners, and high-density external storage devices.

The AR5005UG supports 802.11b/g, and the AR5005UX supports and 802.11a/b/g, and they effectively wirelessly enable any device with a USB port. Both chip sets offer Atheros' Super G and Super AG technology, which use adaptive bandwidth techniques to increase throughput to more than 60 Mbps on demand based on channel availability. The chip sets also offer the WME (wireless-media extensions) and quality-of-service capabilities that the IEEE 802.11e draft standard defines to facilitate the reliable wireless transfer of real-time voice, video, and data.

Atheros' XR (extended-range) operation mode enables connections at greater distances from the access point at which signals are otherwise too weak to connect. Standard features without any performance reduction include WPA (WiFi Protected Access), WPA2, 802.11i Enhanced Security using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), and CCS (Cisco-compatible extensions).

Currently available for sampling, the AR5005UX (802.11a/b/g) chip set sells for $18 (10,000), and the AR5005UG (802.11b/g) chip set sells for $16 (10,000). Reference modules for the chip sets measure 2.57?0.96 in. Atheros also announced that it has begun shipping versions of its line of WLAN chip sets that use a tin alloy as an alternative to lead solder, thus helping engineers meet international environmental guidelines.


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