3/11/2003 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of integrated circuits enabling broadband communications, has shipped more than three million 54gTM wireless Local Area Network (LAN) chips since ramping to production in December 2002. This milestone highlights the rapid transition in the wireless LAN industry from the existing IEEE 802.11b standard to the forthcoming IEEE 802.11g standard. 54gTM, Broadcom’s implementation of the 802.11g draft specification, has now outstripped cumulative industry sales of IEEE 802.11a technology, and the adoption rate as measured by number of chips sold is more than four times faster than the original adoption rate of 802.11b.
End user demand for maximum performance wireless connectivity has lead to successful product introductions by Broadcom customers including Apple, Belkin, Linksys and MELCO/Buffalo Technology. Linksys sales of 54gTM products approached 802.11b sales in February, according to Linksys, the world’s leading provider of wireless LAN products.
“54gTM technology is driving a tremendous growth cycle in the wireless LAN industry,” said Alan E. “Lanny” Ross, Broadcom’s President and CEO. “Broadcom has leveraged our customer relationships and our broadband communications capabilities to rapidly achieve a leadership position in this exciting market.”
Major PC OEMs Help Drive Market Shift
Momentum for products based on the draft 802.11g standard is building in the PC and enterprise computing sectors with Apple Computer shipping draft-802.11g products and other PC equipment OEMs planning to incorporate 54gTM products into their next-generation notebook computers.
Industry experts are now predicting a rapid transition to 802.11g as the new mainstream wireless LAN standard. The slower 802.11b standard is expected to see continued use in devices that draw slightly less power than 802.11g devices, such as hand-helds and phones. More expensive dual-band 802.11a/g-enabled products will be popular for very high-traffic environments.
“Why choose ‘b’ when you can choose ‘g’?” said Will Strauss, President of Forward Concepts. “Draft versions of 802.11g are fully 802.11b-compliant and are upgradeable to the completed specification. Consumers will see immediate benefits, and enterprise customers can future-proof their notebook purchases as they migrate to higher speed infrastructure.”
54gTM Products from Broadcom Offer High Performance and ‘b’ Interoperability
54gTM wireless LAN products from Broadcom can connect as 802.11b or draft-802.11g clients, providing data rates of up to 11 Mbps as “b” clients, or 54 Mbps as “g” clients. Companies that incorporate 54gTM into their networks today will benefit from significantly improved performance over time as the wireless infrastructure is upgraded to high-speed 802.11g or 802.11a/g solutions. Moreover, because of the rigorous radio performance requirements needed for 54 Mbps communications, devices based on 54gTM technology when operating in ‘b’ mode provide better performance than 802.11b-only clients.
Additionally, reference designs and customer products based on the 54gTM wireless LAN chipset have achieved Wi-Fi® certification for 802.11b interoperability. The Wi-Fi certification demonstrates that wireless LAN products based on 54gTM technology can achieve 100% compatibility with existing 802.11b products. Moreover, 54gTM products provide almost five times the bandwidth when operating in 54gTM-only environments, compared to 802.11b products.
IEEE 802.11g Specification in Final Approval Cycle
The draft IEEE 802.11g standard, which will extend the data rate of the IEEE 802.11b standard to 54 Mbps from its current 11 Mbps, has been approved by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. Two approval steps remain within the consensus process before the IEEE 802.11g standard is completed and final approval is expected in mid-June 2003. The IEEE 802.11g draft specification was recently updated to version 6.1, and Broadcom’s OneDriverTM software is compliant with this recently released draft. Existing 54gTM hardware may be upgraded with the updated OneDriverTM software through Broadcom’s OEM partners. Existing 54gTM products can interoperate with all 54gTM products at up to 54 Mbps, whether or not they are upgraded.
Broadcom’s AirForceTM Wireless LAN Product Family
Broadcom’s high performance WLAN product line, AirForceTM, features the greatest breadth and depth in the industry. In addition to transceivers that provide IEEE 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11a and dual-band 802.11a/g solutions, Broadcom integrates wireless network processors, communications technologies and software solutions into reference designs that speed customer time to market. Broadcom partners are developing 54gTM client solutions, access points, routers, cable modems, DSL modems, BluetoothTM solutions and GPRS cellular products.
All the wireless chipsets in the AirForce product line enjoy unique performance advantages that improve throughput and range via Broadcom’s SmartRadioTM technology. In addition to advanced signal processing techniques, the all-CMOS solutions are capable of self-calibrating based on usage temperature and other environmental conditions, reconfiguring constantly for optimum performance. Competing radios are statically calibrated at the point of manufacture and are unable to adapt to changing environmental influences.
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, wide area and storage 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 everything®.
Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at www.broadcom.com.
Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, 54gTM, AirForceTM, OneDriverTM, SmartRadioTM and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Wi-Fi® is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. BluetoothTM is a trademark of the Bluetooth SIG.
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