Broadcom Introduces Industry's First Simultaneous Dual-Band 802.11a/b Wireless LAN Chipset

7/17/2002 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of integrated circuits enabling broadband communications, today announced the industry's first enterprise-class, simultaneous dual-band 802.11a/b chipset. The new all-CMOS design provides operation that is completely compatible with the installed base of more than 15 million Wi-Fi™ 802.11b systems worldwide, and is forward compatible with next generation Wi-Fi5™ 802.11a systems. Broadcom's 802.11a/b combo solution allows wireless LAN equipment vendors to easily upgrade their existing 802.11b Broadcom-based designs to enable simultaneous dual-band operation because the software driver is the same for both products.

The two leading standards addressing the wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN) market are IEEE 802.11b, which transmits and receives data at up to 11 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, and IEEE 802.11a, which operates in the 5 GHz frequency band and transmits and receives data at up to 54 Mbps. Broadcom's three-chip dual-band solution is comprised of the Broadcom® BCM4309 baseband/medium access control IC, which supports the 802.11b and 802.11a protocols as well as IEEE 802.1x security, and the BCM2050 2.4GHz radio IC and the BCM2060 5GHz radio IC.

"Broadcom provides core technology that enables broadband connectivity anytime, anywhere," said Jeff Thermond, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Wireless and Home Networking Business Unit. "We are the only provider of integrated circuits that has technology addressing wireless LAN, wireless WAN and wireless PAN, and we integrate our solutions in ways that make our customer's products work together seamlessly."

Simultaneous Dual-Band Operation Increases Functionality
With advanced, context-switching functionality built-in, the BCM4309 dynamically selects the best performance available at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. This optimization is uniquely enabled by the chip's ability to operate simultaneously in both frequency bands. Users will also be able to use this feature to simultaneously make both a network connection and an ad-hoc user connection, to bond channels for higher throughput or to dedicate voice on one channel and data on another.

The BCM4309 also includes a V.92 voice band modem and a glueless interface that connects to Broadcom's family of Bluetooth™ products and forthcoming chips for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) mobile communications.

"Broadcom's Wi-Fi compliant 802.11b solution has secured design wins with major PC OEMs, broadband modem vendors and retail networking providers," said Jeff Abramowitz, Senior Director of Marketing for Broadcom's WLAN products. "This world-class 802.11b chipset addresses the vast majority of today's market and Broadcom's ability to leverage this solution to provide seamless, next-generation 802.11a/b connectivity puts us in a unique market position."

Forward Compatibility Allows Easy Upgrade from Broadcom's 802.11b to 802.11a/b
The new dual-band chipset uses the same software, system architecture and radio and MAC implementation as Broadcom's existing Wi-Fi chipset, providing customers with a proven 802.11b solution for their new dual-band combo products. Broadcom's 802.11b chipset, the BCM430x and BCM2051, is the industry's most integrated Wi-Fi solution and is currently in volume production.

Broadcom's software provides a significant advantage over the solutions offered by other 802.11b chipset providers because customers can use a single software driver for all generations of Broadcom wireless LAN products. The new solution is implemented using bulk CMOS process technology for all three chips and efficient direct conversion radios, resulting in the industry's lowest cost system architecture. This architecture will also make possible future integration into a single-chip dual-band wireless LAN solution.

"More than 98% of the world's wireless LAN infrastructure is based on Wi-Fi (802.11b)," said Alan Nogee of market research firm In-Stat/MDR. "Continued compatibility with this infrastructure is critical to market growth. At the same time, network managers are looking to future-proof their purchases. Broadcom's dual-band technology is important because it allows vendors to meet the current and future wireless LAN customer needs."

Security, Software and Power Consumption Aimed at Enterprise Customers
Broadcom's new 802.11a/b solution provides the enhanced features, performance and software drivers required for the demanding enterprise WLAN market. The software has been extensively tested in system verification test labs at Broadcom and at customer sites. The BCM4309 incorporates hardware support for WEP and AES and system support for the leading security protocols, TKIP and 802.1x, and its software can be upgraded to the forthcoming 802.11i security standard.

Broadcom's driver software blends seamlessly with Microsoft Corporation's Zero-Configuration™ driver for wireless LANs, with added diagnostic capability for Windows® XP(TM) users, and a common look and feel for legacy Microsoft® operating systems. In addition, the new solution leverages the low power consumption of Broadcom's existing 802.11b solution and significantly reduces power consumption over existing 5 GHz solutions.

Samples of the BCM94309MP mini-PCI reference design using the BCM4309, BCM2050 and BCM2060 are currently shipping to Broadcom's early access partners. PCI, Cardbus and 16-bit PC Card reference designs will also be available.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is the leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. Using proprietary technologies and advanced design methodologies, Broadcom designs, develops and supplies complete system-on-a-chip solutions and related hardware and software applications for every major broadband communications market. Our diverse product portfolio includes solutions for digital and satellite cable set-top boxes; cable and DSL modems and residential gateways; high-speed transmission and switching for local, metropolitan and wide area networking; home and wireless networking; cellular and terrestrial wireless communications; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway and telephony systems; broadband network processors; and SystemI/O(TM) server solutions. These technologies and products support our core mission: Connecting everything(TM).

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
All statements included or incorporated by reference in this release, other than statements or characterizations of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry, management's beliefs, and certain assumptions made by us. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "potential," "continue," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and are based upon the information available to us at this time. Such information is subject to change, and we will not necessarily inform you of such changes. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, our actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.

Important factors that may cause such a difference for Broadcom in connection with the BCM4309, BCM2050 and BCM2060 products include, but are not limited to, general economic and political conditions and specific conditions in the markets we address, including the recent significant economic slowdown in the technology sector and semiconductor industry; the timing and successful completion of technology and product development through volume production; the rate at which our present and future customers and end-users adopt Broadcom's technologies and products in the markets for wireless local area networking applications; delays in the adoption and acceptance of industry standards in those markets; the timing of customer-industry qualification and certification of our products and the risks of non-qualification or non-certification; the timing, rescheduling or cancellation of significant customer orders and the ability of our customers to manage their inventories; the loss of a key customer; the volume of our product sales and pricing concessions on volume sales; the effectiveness of our expense and product cost control and reduction efforts; changes in our product or customer mix; the qualification, availability and pricing of competing products and technologies and the resulting effects on sales and pricing of our products; the effects of new and emerging technologies; our ability to specify, develop or acquire, complete, introduce, market and transition to volume production new products and technologies in a timely manner; our ability to retain and hire key executives, technical personnel and other employees in the numbers, with the capabilities, and at the compensation levels needed to implement our business and product plans; intellectual property disputes and customer indemnification claims and other types of litigation risk; the availability and pricing of third party semiconductor foundry and assembly capacity and raw materials; fluctuations in the manufacturing yields of our third party semiconductor foundries and other problems or delays in the fabrication, assembly, testing or delivery of our products; the risks of producing products with new suppliers and at new fabrication and assembly facilities; problems or delays that we may face in shifting our products to smaller geometry process technologies and in achieving higher levels of design integration; the quality of our products and any remediation costs; the risks and uncertainties associated with our international operations, particularly in light of recent events; the effects of natural disasters, international conflicts and other events beyond our control; the level of orders received that can be shipped in a fiscal quarter; and other factors.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss some of the important risk factors that could contribute to such differences or otherwise affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement for any reason.

Broadcom®, the pulse logo®, Connecting everything™, and SystemI/O™ are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Wi-Fi™ and Wi-Fi5™ are trademarks of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, Inc. Bluetooth™ is a trademark owned by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson AB and licensed to participants in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in the United States and certain other countries. Microsoft®, Windows®XP™ and Zero-Configuration(TM) are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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