CES 2010: Broadcom and Atheros Announcements

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Tim Higgins

Broadcom announced three 802.11n router SoCs and Atheros its first powerline chipset.

Broadcom announced new single-chip 802.11n SoCs with enhanced features, improved performance and lower power consumption designed for a line of scalable 802.11n routers.

The new devices are:
— BCM5357: Single-chip 2.4G entry-level IEEE 802.11n retail router
— BCM5358: Single-chip 2.4G IEEE 802.11n application router with I2S, NAND and wireless voice gateway support
— BCM47186: Single-chip high-performance simultaneous dual-band IEEE 802.11n Gigabit Ethernet router

The new chips use a 65 nm CMOS process and include an integrated 2.4 GHz power amp. All three are sampling now to "early access" customers.

Atheros announced its first powerline networking product, based on the technology acquired with Intellon. The AR7400 fourth-generation powerline chipset, is IEEE 1901 compliant and designed to interoperate with both IEEE 1901- and HomePlug AV-based products. It offers standard and extended-spectrum operation to deliver more than 500 Mbps PHY rates, a 2.5 times improvement over currently deployed HomePlug AV products.

Also announced was a powerline communications (PLC) system development kit aimed at "smart grid" applications. The initial kit is based on the older HomePlug AV-compliant INT6400 chipset. A second kit using the AR7400 is also in development.

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