Broadcom Launches AirForce Next Generation Wireless Processor

7/22/2003 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, announced the Broadcom® AirForceTM BCM4712 system-on-a-chip, the next generation of the industry's most popular wireless network processor. The BCM4712, which includes a 54gTM MAC/baseband and integrated 10/100 Ethernet and USB interfaces, combined with the BCM2050 2.4 GHz radio, enables secure 802.11g wireless LAN access points, routers and gateways to be produced in smaller form factors and at lower costs than previously possible.

The BCM4712 wireless network processor is the industry's most integrated access point/router platform to date. Leveraging an integrated 200MHz MIPS32TM processor, the BCM4712 handles access point, routing and gateway functions at full IEEE 802.11g 54 Mbps speeds while also providing backwards compatibility to 802.11b devices. This system-on-a-chip platform is capable of a full suite of functionality including data processing, routing, security, network management and communications controller functions for wireless access points and wireless routers. The chip is the successor to the BCM4702, which is the best-selling dedicated wireless network processor in the industry.

"By integrating network processing and wireless LAN functionality into a single chip, the BCM4712 enables advanced and affordable wireless access points for business, residential and hotspot deployments," said Jeff Abramowitz, Senior Director of Marketing for Broadcom's Wireless LAN Products. "Our advanced wireless network processors are an integral part of our wireless LAN product portfolio and the success of these products highlights the industry transition to application-specific wireless LAN chips."

The BCM4712 system-on-a-chip enables manufacturers to achieve lower costs and form factors for access points as small as a 2" x 3" business card. The wireless network processor includes hardware-based AES acceleration for upgradeability to the future IEEE 802.11i security standard and supports a rich software feature set. This will enable network equipment vendors to offer a new generation of cost attractive, full-featured 54gTM wireless routers and access points aimed at small business and residential customers. Broadcom's 54gTM technology has emerged as the premier 802.11g-compliant solution, delivering maximum performance speed, range and security.

Advanced Software Features
The BCM4712 is code-compatible with the BCM4702 and AirForceTM OneDriverTM access point/router software suite, which provides the basis for most shipped 802.11g routers and access points. OEMs can leverage existing proprietary software developed for their currently shipping products, significantly reducing time to market for new products. With an upgraded MIPS32 processor, the BCM4712 also provides the ability to run complex networking protocols, enabling deeply embedded systems to take advantage of 54Mbps wireless networking while preserving the underlying hardware and software designs.

Broadcom's OneDriver software also features XpressTM technology, the industry's first standards-based performance enhancement software designed to deliver maximum data throughput for all IEEE technologies (802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a), even in networks utilizing equipment from multiple vendors. Each network node that adds Xpress Technology improves the efficiency of the network and Xpress smoothes the industry migration to 802.11g by offering increased performance benefits, especially in mixed 802.11b and 802.11g networks.

Broadcom's AirForce Wireless LAN Product Family
Broadcom's high performance WLAN product line features the greatest breadth and depth in the industry. In addition to transceivers that provide IEEE 802.11b, 802.11g and dual-band 802.11a/g solutions, Broadcom integrates wireless network processors, communications technologies and OneDriver software solutions into reference designs that speed customer time to market. Broadcom partners are developing WLAN-enabled client solutions, access points, routers, cable modems, DSL modems, BluetoothTM solutions and GPRS cellular products.

In addition, the AirForce line also enjoys unique advantages via its proprietary SmartRadioTM technology. The all-CMOS radio products are capable of self-calibrating based on usage temperature and other environmental conditions, reconfiguring for optimum performance. Competing radios are calibrated at the point of manufacture and are unable to adapt to changing environmental influences. In addition, all of Broadcom's WLAN products utilize the same OneDriver software driver, significantly reducing development time for products across all 802.11 signaling standards.

For additional information about products based on Broadcom or 54gTM technology, visit or

The BCM4712 development kit is currently available and sampling to Broadcom's early access partners.

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 and satellite cable 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 everything®.

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

Broadcom®, the pulse logo®, Connecting everything®, 54gTM, AirForceTM, OneDriverTM, SmartRadioTM, SystemI/OTM and XpressTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. MIPS32TM is a trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc.

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