Atmel Announces the Support of the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) Security Solution for its 802.11b Wireless LAN Devices

11/1/2002 - Atmel® announced it will support the standards-based security solution called Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) on its successful suite of 802.11b Media Access Controller (MAC) and MAC plus baseband controller parts. Wi-Fi is the term used by an industry consortium to describe interoperable wireless local area networks. WPA, a standard being promoted by Wi-Fi Alliance, will enhance the Wireless Encryption Privacy (WEP) encryption methodology supported under the IEEE 802.11 standard. A WPA security solution will be enabled simply through a firmware upgrade to existing products in the market and as an integrated hardware block in Atmel's future MAC plus baseband products.

WPA is an intermediate security solution that is stronger and further reaching than Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). The reason for which, is that it is based on industry standards, necessary for addressing immediate market needs to improve wireless message security. WPA includes 802.1x and TKIP but not the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). WPA uses the 802.1x standard as a basis for port based network access control, authentication and key management and TKIP an increased level of security by implementing random re-keying on WEP. TKIP uses RSA's RC4 to perform the encryption.

"All Atmel's Wireless LAN current products are Wi-Fi certified, either directly by Atmel or through customers using an Atmel reference design. Our decision to support the WPA security solution will ensure customers of Atmel based solutions that they will continue to receive the Wi-Fi certification after the establishment of the WPA test plan from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Additionally, the data currently available show that Atmel's WPA implementation will be achieved with very low performance degradation when in firmware and with no performance degradation at all when in hardware, maintaining a popular advantage of Atmel's existing WEP security mechanism implementation," said Dimitris Troupis, WLAN Specialist of Atmel's Multimedia Communications Product Group.

Dimitris Troupis further adds, "The fast growing deployment of 802.11b networks, will be uplifted from the Wi-Fi Alliance's WPA security solution. Atmel is proud to contribute to this effort by offering WPA enabled 802.11b devices for the immediate Market needs". Atmel is also closely following the significant ongoing work of the IEEE 802.11i Task Group and plans to incorporate AES encryption for full support of the 802.11i standard when it emerges.

About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of IEEE 802.11 products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments. The Wi-Fi Alliance has instituted a test suite that defines how member products are tested to certify that they are interoperable with other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products. These tests are conducted at an independent laboratory.

Membership in the Wi-Fi Alliance is open to all companies that support the 802.11 family of standards. Wi-Fi Alliance now comprises over 170 members that offer over 450 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products from the world's leading companies.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

Atmel, the Atmel logo and combinations thereof are registered trademarks, and others contained herein are trademarks, of Atmel Corporation.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: