Broadcom Delivers the Industry's Only Forward-Compatible Wireless LAN Access Point/Router Platform

9/12/2002 - Broadcom, the leading provider of integrated circuits enabling broadband communications, announced that the Broadcom® AirForceTM BCM4702 network processor chip and the Wi-FiTM compliant BCM94702AP reference design platform now support next generation wireless LAN technologies. Broadcom’s complete reference design package enables manufacturers to build high performance wireless local area network (WLAN) access points and routers on a platform that supports the IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11a/b standards today and will also support IEEE 802.11g when it is available.

Broadcom also announced that Linksys® is the first vendor to ship dual-band wireless LAN access points based on Broadcom's chip.

Industry's Only Forward-Compatible Solution
The reference design platform includes Broadcom's AirForce OneDriverTM software, BSP code and residential gateway application code, enabling OEMs to bring advanced wireless technology to market rapidly. The OneDriver software allows a single version of the driver software to support multiple current and future wireless LAN standards. This unique software approach and Broadcom's scalable network processor architecture allow OEMs to use Broadcom's software development platform to design a single implementation of their wireless technologies. They can then leverage their software development investment across multiple generations of products, including cable and DSL modems.

"Broadcom's AirForce access point platform offers the industry's only low- cost architecture that can address IEEE 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a/b/g technology with a single, common platform," said Jeff Thermond, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Wireless and Home Networking Business Unit. "This powerful new platform leverages common hardware and software among Broadcom's products to ensure compatibility with existing wireless standards, while 'future-proofing' designs as new standards achieve industry certification."

Benchmark Setting Platform Performance
The BCM4702-based platform enables products that significantly outperform access points based on the 200 MHz PowerPC® and provide up to 5 times the routing performance of typical ARM7TM-based WLAN routers. The BCM4702 system-on-a-chip product features a powerful MIPS32TM processor for performing data processing, routing, security, network management and communications controller functions for wireless access points and wireless routers. The breakthrough performance established by the BCM4702-based platform stems from the MIPS32TM processor, the network processor architecture that includes data plane acceleration capability, Broadcom’s efficient IEEE 802.11 medium access controller (MAC), and optimized software designed to support single-copy packet forwarding.

In addition to an integrated processor, the BCM4702 includes two 10/100 Ethernet MACs, a PCI/Cardbus host controller, a USB controller and a PCMCIA host which allow OEMs to differentiate their solutions targeting high volume retail products.

Linksys President and CEO Victor Tsao said, “Our new WAP51AB Dual-Band Wireless Access Point marries the two 802.11 standards, allowing wireless technology to fulfill its market potential. The Broadcom platform provides ideal performance for both home or office use at a product price that everyone can afford.”

AirForce, Broadcom’s Complete Wireless LAN Product Family
Broadcom’s AirForce product line is the most complete wireless LAN product portfolio in the industry, with single and multi-function integrated circuits that enable end-to-end wireless LAN solutions for both consumer and business wireless users. The client family includes the BCM2051 2.4GHz radio and the BCM430X baseband/MAC family for 802.11b connectivity, the BCM2060 5GHz radio and BCM4308 baseband/MAC for 802.11a connectivity, and the BCM2050 2.4GHz radio, BCM2060 5GHz radio and BCM4309 baseband/MAC for dual-band connectivity.

In addition to the AirForce BCM4702 network processor IC, Broadcom offers the BCM4710 network processor, which is pin-compatible and software-compatible with the BCM4702 and adds integrated HomePNAÔ 2.0 functionality. This wireline capability allows cable operators and Internet services providers to deploy a highly reliable data backbone in the home, capable of connecting Access Points and other broadband devices at 32Mbps over existing phone lines or coaxial cable.

All of Broadcom’s components, including radio chips, are manufactured using bulk CMOS process technology, which will enable future integration of single-chip access points and wireless routers.

The BCM4702 and BCM4710 are currently in volume production. The complete system reference designs, the BCM94702AP and BCM94710AP, are currently available. These reference designs include Broadcom’s BCM5325 5-port switch IC and the AC101L Ethernet physical layer IC, which is also in volume production by from Broadcom’s Altima Communications, for a comprehensive, low cost 5-port router solution.

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 cable and satellite 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/OTM server solutions. These technologies and products support our core mission: Connecting everythingTM.

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

Broadcom®, the pulse logoTM, Connecting everythingTM, AirForceTM, OneDriverTM and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. PowerPC® is a trademark of International Business Machines, Inc. LinksysTM is a trademark of Linksys Group Inc. Wi-FiTM is a trademark of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, Inc. MIPS32TM is a trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc. ARM7TM is a trademark of ARM, Ltd. HomePNATM is a trademark of the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance.

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