Atmel's New Wireless Router Offers Two Ethernet MAC

2/27/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) released its second generation Access Point/router (AT76C511), adding to its VNET2 family of Wireless LAN products. The AT76C511 is a single-chip comprising of two ARM7TDMI® processors, two 10/100 Ethernet Media Access Controllers (MACs), a high-speed USART and a 802.11b MAC for providing a seamless connection between the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and the Wide Area Network (WAN). The AT76C511 based bridge controller supports several applications such as an Access Point (AP), Bridges, wireless routers and ADSL to WLAN. In AP mode, the Internetworking ARM (INWARM) is dedicated to managing the Ethernet based data that is destined outside the WLAN using IP over Ethernet. In Bridge mode, the Internetworking ARM is capable of implementing the protocol for bridging AP's to AP's. In a wireless router mode, the second Ethernet MAC can be connected to a 4-port or 8-port ethernet switch. And finally, the second Ethernet MAC can also be connected to an ADSL chipset.

To address today's security concerns, the AT76C511 integrates a dedicated hardware block to implement Wired Encryption Privacy (WEP) enciphering / deciphering of wireless data for both 64 and 128 bit keys. The device also supports the recently announced Wi-Fi® Protected Access (WPA) security solution, including 802.1x and TKIP.

To speed customers' design in time and provide a feature enriched software, Atmel selected the uC-Linux Operating System for the AP/Router. The uC-Linux code runs on the INWARM processor and is provided as open source under Linux's General Public License. "Linux® provides Atmel's customers the ability to easily add custom functionality. Also, because the INWARM has extra processing power, it is available to run additional customer specific code. By developing applications on a Linux based PC and easily porting them to the AT76C511, customers can take advantage of the huge variety of Open Source applications available under Linux. The 511 will reduce cost for high-end AP, wireless routers and ADSL to WLAN gateways in the market today that require a dedicated CPU for handling the AP, bridging and router functions" said Richard Bisset, Product Marketing Director of Atmel's Multimedia Communications Product Group.

To allow flexibility, independent libraries for hardware access are provided for the AT76C511 to accommodate its use with other operating systems or custom firmware, resulting in a shortened time to Market and enhanced customization and upgrade capabilities. Available Networking functions for the AT76C511 include Web/Telnet server, DHCP server/client, PPP server, SNMP, Network Address Translation (NAT), Firewall, Router, Access Control List (ACL), PPPoE and VPN Management.

To facilitate quick time-to-market and reduce engineering costs, a complete reference design kit (AT76C511-EK) using the single-chip RF Microdevices RF transceiver (RF2958) and Power Amplifier (RF5189) is available. Additionally, a complete Development Platform (AT76C511-DK) is also offered to Atmel's customers who want to develop and test their own code. Included is a RS232 socket for system extension, an ARM7 JTAG port for program development and debugging, a complete GCC compiler-tool chain to compile and upload custom applications, 8 General Purpose I/O Pins (GPIO's). The platform is also accompanied by complete Production Testing and RF Calibration Utilities. Additionally, a boot loader, Several Utilities providing significant flexibility to its configuration and upgrade procedures are provided. Finally, additional non-upgradeable Factory image (save-boot), Serial Console, Web/SNMP/MIB based configuration are provided.

The AT76C511, packaged in a 208-pin LQFP, is now released to production. Leadtimes for this device are around 10 weeks After Receipt of Order. Pricing for the AT76C511 starts around $US 14.50 at 25K units.

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. Information Atmel's product information may be retrieved at: Requests may be sent via e-mail to or by visiting Atmel's website at

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