Wi-Fi Alliance Certifies Broadcom Wireless LAN for Interoperability

4/30/2003 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, announced that its wireless LAN reference designs are in the first group to be Wi-Fi Protected AccessTM certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which guarantees interoperability with other products implementing the new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security standard. With the combination of certified support for WPA plus hardware-accelerated Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) built-in to the AirForceTM solutions shipping today, Broadcom offers a solution that provides enterprise-class wireless security now and forward-compatibility with the future IEEE 802.11i draft specification. This ensures enterprise organizations that products purchased today with Broadcom wireless LAN technology will meet both current and future standards-based security requirements without the need to swap-out or upgrade hardware.

“Widespread enterprise adoption of Wi-Fi hinges upon the proliferation of strong, standards-based security,” said Jeff Abramowitz, Senior Director of Marketing for Broadcom’s wireless LAN products. “Broadcom is leading the wireless LAN security revolution with early support for the most advanced security standards. Our AirForce products offer the most comprehensive security features that will enable millions of businesses and consumers to protect their networks today, and future-proof their investments with built-in support for next generation standards.”

Driven by the IEEE and the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA provides robust encryption and authentication techniques that increase the level of data protection and access control for wireless LANs. WPA replaces the previous Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard, which provided inadequate protection for enterprise networks. The Wi-Fi Alliance has chosen both client and access point AirForce reference designs using the latest OneDriverTM software for its WPA testbed, for use in the certification process. AirForce products that have been certified for Wi-Fi Protected Access include the 802.11g Access Point Reference Design and the 802.11g CardBus Reference Design.

“Wi-Fi Protected Access is the most significant wireless LAN security enhancement to date, representing a critical step forward in protecting wireless data in corporate, home and public networks,” said Dennis Eaton, Wi-Fi Alliance Chairman. “Broadcom has been actively involved in the development of WPA security for its products, and its Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM products are part of the Alliance’s interoperability testing environment. The Wi-Fi Alliance will continue to drive the adoption of standards-based security by assuring customers that products meet stringent requirements and interoperate with one another,” continued Eaton.

The new security standard was designed so that existing Wi-Fi networks can be updated to support WPA. All Broadcom AirForce-enabled products are WPA-capable with a OneDriverTM software upgrade that is available to Broadcom customers. For end product pricing and availability, please consult the web site of your equipment manufacturer.

“By proactively integrating advanced technologies such as 802.11g draft and WPA, Linksys has become the undisputed leader in wireless LAN equipment,” said Mike Wagner, Director of Marketing of Linksys. “Broadcom’s accelerated-AES solutions and early WPA certification enable us to deliver wireless products with strong security features, assuring millions of Linksys customers that their wireless data is well-protected.”

Future Proofed Technology for Next Generation Security
Broadcom was the first vendor to offer dedicated hardware acceleration for AES, a subset of the forthcoming 802.11i security standard. Current wireless equipment with 54gTM technology include Broadcom’s unique encryption/decryption engine, which maintains maximum system performance and significantly lowers CPU utilization in both wireless client and access devices. By offering hardware-based AES now, Broadcom future proofs customers by eliminating the need for costly hardware upgrades when 802.11i is introduced. In contrast, products running software-based AES may experience severe performance degradation and will likely require new hardware or full product replacement to employ 802.11i properly.

AirForceTM is Industry Leading Product Family
Broadcom’s high performance wireless LAN product line, AirForce, 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 OneDriverTM software solutions into reference designs that speed customers’ time to market.

The AirForce family includes 54gTM technology, Broadcom’s maximum performance implementation of the IEEE 802.11g draft specification. Broadcom partners are developing 54gTM client solutions, access points, routers, cable modems, DSL modems, BluetoothTM solutions and GPRS cellular products. For additional information about products based on 54gTM technology, visit www.54g.org.

All AirForce wireless chipsets 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 Partners Support WPA Initiative
“The uncertainty of network security has been the last major hurdle for many consumers considering wireless networks,” said Gary Hansen, senior product manager for Belkin’s networking products. “WPA provides unprecedented levels of security, allowing home and SOHO customers to enjoy the freedom of wireless networking without worrying about the privacy of their personal and financial information. Current Belkin users can easily upgrade their equipment to support WPA with a software download available on our website at www.belkin.com.”

“For the first time, strong interoperable security is available for Wi-Fi networks,” said Morikazu Sano, vice president of Buffalo Technology. “Buffalo supports open standards and applauds the Wi-Fi Alliance for driving WPA into the mainstream wireless market. We will continue to work with Broadcom to deliver WPA-CERTIFIED solutions that provide our customers with the best technology choices.”

“Fujitsu supports open standards and applauds the Wi-Fi Alliance for driving WPA into the mainstream wireless market,” said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation. “We believe that WPA will be a catalyst that spurs enterprise adoption of wireless LANs and will work with Broadcom to deliver WPA-CERTIFIED solutions that provide our customers with the best technology choices.”

“By proactively integrating advanced technologies such as 802.11g draft and WPA, Linksys has become the undisputed leader in wireless LAN equipment,” said Mike Wagner, Director of Marketing of Linksys. “Broadcom’s accelerated AES solutions and early WPA certification enable us to deliver wireless products with strong security features, assuring millions of Linksys customers that their wireless data is well-protected.”

“Microsoft’s customers have told us that Windows XP provides a great wireless experience thanks to its wireless ease of use enhancements. However, before the availability of Wi-Fi Protected Access, there had been some hesitation to deploy wireless LAN solutions across organizations due to security concerns,” said Shai Guday, group program manager for Windows Networking and Communications Technologies at Microsoft Corp. “The availability of Wi-Fi Protected Access for users of Windows XP and Broadcom’s wireless LAN technologies means Microsoft’s and Broadcom’s mutual customers can deploy wireless LANs with more confidence that their data will be safer and more secure.”

“WPA is a giant leap forward in protecting our sensitive corporate data at Broadcom. Our current solution utilizing VPN security is both expensive and inflexible,” said Ken Venner, CIO for Broadcom. “Broadcom’s WPA implementation provides a solution that we can implement with confidence today while planning for the future; a critical decision factor for us is the hardware accelerated AES that makes this solution IEEE 802.11i-ready.”

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, 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®, Wi-Fi Protected AccessTM, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. BluetoothTM is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG. AironetTM is a trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc.

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