TI's New WLAN Processor First to Enable True Wi-Fi Mobility and Extend Battery Life in WLAN Laptops, PDAs and Smartphones

9/4/2002 - Significantly reducing the standby power consumption of 802.11b wireless local area networking (WLAN) solutions by up to 10x, Texas Instruments introduced a new WLAN processor that enables true embedded Wi-Fi applications without compromising battery-life, or requiring extra batteries, bulky enclosures or continuous reliance on a power cord. The new processor is designed to provide highly power efficient 802.11b connectivity with up to a 10-fold reduction in standby mode power consumption than competitive 802.11b chipsets for laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and other portable devices. The lower power consumption allows end-users to be more mobile and productive longer with Wi-Fi equipment at home, work or public hot spots.

TI's TNETW1100B is an integrated, single-chip 802.11b Medium Access Controller (MAC) and baseband processor (BBP) designed specifically to meet the low power and tight space requirements of the emerging embedded and portable WLAN market, while also improving power savings for traditional NIC and PC card applications. Drawing on its experience in developing power-saving innovations for the cell phone industry, TI optimized the TNETW1100B with Extra Low Power (ELP) technology, enabling a breakthrough standby power consumption of less than 2 milliWatts (mW) at the chip level yielding up to a 10x reduction in standby power consumption at the system level over current 802.11b chipsets.

Most 802.11b devices spend nearly 95 percent of their time in non-operational sleep or standby modes versus transmitting or receiving data. By addressing the standby power consumption, in addition to the power consumed during transmit/receive operation, systems based on TI´s TNETW1100B allow for battery-efficiency and longer usage times. Importantly, no performance or throughput compromise is experienced in order to obtain these dramatic improvements in power consumption. As a direct benefit of TI´s ELP technology, an 802.11b-enabled PDA based on the TNETW1100B will experience up to 25 percent more battery life over competitive solutions. A laptop running typical office applications with a TNETW1100B-based PC Card or miniPCI will use up to 75 percent less energy than competitive solutions.

"WLAN connectivity is quickly becoming an important differentiating feature for OEMs of mobile devices such as laptops, Internet appliances and PDAs, fueling the embedded 802.11 market, which is expected to reach 10.8 million devices by 2004," said Allen Nogee, senior analyst, In-Stat/MDR. "Offering, by far the lowest power consumption for 802.11b functionality on the market today, Texas Instruments´ TNETW1100B answers OEMs demands for 802.11b capabilities without having to sacrifice battery life."

To save valuable board space in portable and consumer electronics systems, TI´s TNETW1100B is the smallest 802.11b MAC/BBP in a 12 x 12 mm package, which is 44 percent smaller than its predecessor, the ACX100. For existing designs the TNETW1100B also comes in a 16 x 16 mm package that is pin-for-pin compatible with the ACX100. TNETW1100B offers the industry´s highest performing 802.11b Complementary Code Keying (CCK) operation, providing up to a 30 percent throughput improvement at greater distances. It also supports the even greater range and the optional 22 megabits per second (Mbps) data rate of TI´s PBCCTM modulation.

"With the new TNETW1100B, Texas Instruments is the first to enable a vast new class of truly portable and battery-friendly Wi-Fi devices. IEEE 802.11b was not originally developed for highly mobile products as its primary application, so power consumption and size have remained significant obstacles for mobile device manufacturers wanting to offer WLAN connectivity," said Marc Cetto, general manager of TI's Wireless Networking Business Unit. "The benefits of WLAN connectivity increase greatly when you don't have to be plugged-in or carry extra batteries. With TI's ELP technology drastically reducing overall power consumption, the TNETW1100B is taking WLAN from the proof-of-concept stage to a valuable and realistic feature for many more mobile and embedded products."

Development Tools and Support for Embedded/Mobile Applications
The TNETW1100B supports a variety of host interfaces that make it easily embeddable into mobile devices and WLAN access points. These include CardBus, PCI, miniPCI, USB, Compact Flash, PCMCIA and a 16-bit generic slave interface.

TI has assembled a suite of tools to assist developers who are embedding WLAN capabilities, particularly for the mobile and portable marketplace. The Embedded Station Design Kit has been specifically tailored for the unique needs of embedded operating systems such as PocketPC or Symbian, and includes programming and hardware design tools, as well as sample reference designs that a project team can use to streamline the development process and accelerate a customized design.

About TI Wireless Networking (www.ti.com/wlan)
Texas Instruments provides high-performance, low power 802.11 solutions for the growing Wi-Fi market by leveraging the company´s history of innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband. TI has Wi-Fi certified 802.11b designs and offers extended reach and rate to customers who want to deliver best in class 802.11 products to market quickly. TI´s WLAN business is part of TI´s comprehensive portfolio of broadband solutions including cable modems, DSL modems and infrastructure, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateways, and carrier infrastructure.

Pricing and Availability
The TNETW1100B is sampling now and is scheduled to be available in volume production in the fourth quarter of 2002. Suggested pricing is planned at under $10 in 10,000 quantities.

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