ARC International’s WLAN Now Delivers Complete Soft IP Blocks for 802.11a/b/g Modem/Baseband and MAC SoC Designs

1/21/2003 - ARC International (LSE: ARK), a world leader in configurable System-on-Chip (SoC) platform technologies, announced WLAN Now, a complete IEEE 802.11a/b/g modem/baseband and MAC soft IP building block solution for SoC-based wireless LAN access point and client devices. WLAN Now is the latest application-specific soft IP extension for the ARC SoC development platform, a unified system development tool chain that includes the 32-bit ARCtangentTM RISC/DSP microprocessor core, and is fully optimized for communications and consumer products.

“As wireless LAN connectivity becomes more prolific in a range of embedded applications, design emphasis is shifting from a chipset model to an IP-based model,” said Allen Nogee, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. “By 2006, embedded-type wireless LAN applications will account for more than 50% of all wireless LAN applications. ARC is one of the very few companies well positioned to execute on this trend.”

WLAN Now provides wireless LAN developers with a synthesizable architecture to integrate 802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g, (draft standard), functionality into their SoC, ASSP or ASIC products. ARC’s highly configurable and extensible architecture allows developers to readily implement current IEEE specifications, custom specifications or potential software upgrade functionality that supports future IEEE standards such as 802.11e, Quality of Service (QoS) or 802.11i security features.

WLAN Now also supports 802.11a/g multi-mode functionality for developers who require maximum flexibility in their wireless LAN devices while reducing their time-to-market and development costs. By providing a highly integrated, unified development tool chain, wireless LAN developers can also reduce the number of IP suppliers and overall design risks. ARC’s flexible, fully integrated SoC platform with WLAN Now peripheral extensions consists of the ARCtangent 32-bit RISC/DSP microprocessor core, 802.11a/b/g modem/baseband processing, all hardware MAC accelerators and embedded MAC software stack.

ARC’s freely intermixable 16/32-bit ARCompactTM Instruction Set Architecture incorporated into the ARCtangent-A5 microprocessor provides code size improvements of up to 30% over the ARCtangent-A4, making the WLAN Now platform ideal for low-cost devices.

“WLAN Now addresses the complex issues faced by system designers trying to add wireless LAN capability to their product lines,” said Mike Gulett, president and chief executive of ARC International. “WLAN Now extends ARC’s commitment to providing system designers with the necessary building blocks they need to quickly implement, synthesize and fine-tune a complex system design before committing to silicon. With the explosive market growth of WLAN, designers need the time-to-market and cost leverage that using the WLAN Now product offers.”

ARC's WLAN Now product offering will be available in a variety of options including: single mode (802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g draft standard), multi-mode (802.11a/b or 802.11a/g), STA or BSS.

Features include:

Customers who choose the WLAN Now complete 802.11a/b/g modem/baseband and MAC IP solution from ARC receive an industry leading design and services package unmatched in the industry, because it is:

The WLAN Now solution gives designers unparalleled freedom in designing their next wireless LAN-enabled product. With a cutting edge design for the latest technologies, a high performance digital baseband and software based MAC that is upgradeable as the standards continue to evolve; designers will have the time to focus on the core differentiators that set their product apart in the marketplace. WLAN Now will be available in March 2003.

About ARC International
ARC International is the first company to offer integrated solutions for SoC design, in an effort to minimize design risk for customers developing next generation wireless, networking and consumer electronics products. In 1998, ARC introduced the industry's first user-customizable 32-bit RISC/DSP processor core. In early 2000, ARC became the first company to integrate the development tools, peripherals, RTOS and software that enabled the designer to get better design optimization and performance. ARC's approach of providing a single source for the major SoC building blocks reduces the number of IP suppliers, reduces cost, reduces the risk of system-on-chip design and reduces time-to-market.

ARC’s products include the ARCtangentTM user-customizable 32-bit RISC/DSP processor, the first USB 2.0 OTG high speed controller on the market and an 802.11 MAC and baseband multi-standard IP core.

ARC International employs 200 people in research and development, sales and marketing offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Full details of the company's locations and other information are on the company's web site, ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).

ARC, the ARC logo, ARCompact, and ARCtangent are trademarks of ARC International.

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