Broadcom Boosts Wi-Fi Coverage with New 54g BroadRange Chipsets

11/24/2004 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor solutions enabling broadband communications, announced two new 54gTM wireless LAN chipsets with BroadRangeTM technology, enabling Wi-Fi users to maintain high speed wireless connections at distances up to 50 percent greater than previous generation solutions. Equipped with this innovative signal processing technology, Broadcom's new single-chip 802.11g client solution (the BCM4318E) and router system-on-a-chip (the BCM5352E) deliver maximum performance while greatly extending wireless LAN coverage throughout the home or office.

BroadRange technology uses advanced digital signal processing techniques to provide the highest receive sensitivity of any 802.11g chipset on the market. As a wireless client device moves away from an access point or router, it becomes more difficult to receive (or "hear") data transmissions -- forcing the system to downshift to lower data rates to maintain error-free communication. By improving a device's ability to receive transmissions, BroadRange technology allows products based on 54g technology to stay connected longer at top speeds before stepping back to lower data rates, and also improves maximum range at lower data rates.

Adding these state-of-the-art techniques to Broadcom's highly integrated CMOS devices makes the new chipsets the industry's most cost-effective, high- performance Wi-Fi architecture. The technology is expected to be embedded into a wide range of current and future Wi-Fi products -- from notebook PCs and wireless routers to cell phones and other handheld devices.

"Broadcom's Wi-Fi success comes from timely introduction of innovative technologies that our customers use to win in the competitive wireless LAN market," said Jeff Abramowitz, Senior Director of Marketing for Broadcom's Home and Wireless Networking Business Unit. "BroadRange technology significantly improves Wi-Fi coverage and is a cost-effective way to enhance the Wi-Fi user's experience in the home or office."

Two New 54g Chipsets Feature BroadRange Technology
Broadcom has enhanced its latest 54g client and router chipsets with the new BroadRange technology. The BCM4318E is the third-generation product in Broadcom's line of single-chip client solutions. The highly-integrated chip reduces the size, cost and power consumption of a wireless LAN module and can power down to consume as little as 9mW in idle mode. Lower power consumption not only improves the battery life of today's Wi-Fi devices, but enables high- performance wireless capabilities in a variety of new platforms with strict power requirements, including handheld devices and consumer electronics.

Broadcom has also enhanced the industry's most integrated wireless LAN processor with BroadRange technology. The BCM5352E combines high-performance 54g wireless routing, Fast Ethernet switching and a MIPS® instruction set processor into a single system-on-a-chip (SoC). When paired with Broadcom's popular BCM2050 radio, the BCM5352E offers the best price/performance ratio of any wireless network processor on the market, delivering wireless and wired performance and security previously available from devices at up to twice the cost.

Standards-Compliant Features Deliver Superior Range and Throughput
BroadRange technology complies with IEEE 802.11 standards, and will be integrated into a wide range of Wi-Fi products -- from notebook PCs to routers to cell phones. Products using BroadRange technology will remain interoperable with all Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM devices and will not degrade the performance of other wireless products. Although Wi-Fi users can experience the greatest range when BroadRange technology is used in all network devices, those devices with the new architecture can benefit from additional range in any wireless network -- whether or not the other nodes have it.

By contrast, many range-extending features require proprietary technology on both ends of the connection, and degrade overall network performance to provide additional distance for a single mobile user. This requires Wi-Fi users to choose between optimal performance and optimal range.

"Broadcom has not only achieved cost-effective integration, but has also improved wireless LAN performance in a standards-compliant way," said Bob Wheeler, Senior Analyst from The Linley Group. "We recommend standards-based range enhancements over proprietary approaches because they improve the user experience for both new and existing networks."

BroadRange Technology can also be used in cost effective, high-performance 802.11a/g Wi-Fi clients and routers by adding Broadcom's BCM2060 5 GHz radio. 802.11a/g technology is embedded in some commercial PC notebooks for added wireless LAN channel capacity and retail vendors offer 802.11a/g for enhanced multi-media capabilities in the home.

The BCM4318E and BCM5352E both support Broadcom's OneDriverTM software, which offers a number of features that deliver superior performance, security and ease-of-use for wireless networks. Manufacturers can improve both the range and performance of their wireless devices by implementing BroadRange technology in conjunction with 125 High Speed ModeTM, the industry's most popular performance enhancement. When used together, Wi-Fi devices can achieve up to 40 percent greater throughput than typical 802.11g or 802.11a/g systems and can sustain higher performance at greater distances.

Products with BroadRange technology can also support SecureEZSetupTM software, a unique wizard that allows even first-time Wi-Fi users to set up a secure wireless network in just a few mouse clicks. The SecureEZSetup wizard prompts the user with two simple questions and then automatically configures the Service Set Identifier (SSID) and WPA passwords/keys to establish a secure connection between a wireless device and router. Unless they know the WPA password, other devices are prevented from accessing the wireless network once security is activated.

The BCM4318E is now in production and Broadcom offers the BCM94318E client reference designs in mini PCI and PC card versions, as well as a package option with an SDIO interface for embedded designs. Broadcom is sampling the BCM5352E and the BCM95352E router reference designs in a variety of configurations. All reference designs with BroadRange technology provide two high-output-power options, allowing manufacturers to use the power amplifier that best suits the needs of their wireless device.

Broadcom's Wireless LAN Product Family
Broadcom's high performance AirForceTM wireless LAN product line includes 54g, the world's most popular Wi-Fi technology. In addition to transceivers that provide IEEE 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 54g-enabled computers, routers, peripherals, phones, broadband modems and a variety of consumer electronics devices.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. We design, develop and supply complete system- on-a-chip (SoC) solutions incorporating digital, analog, radio frequency (RF), microprocessor and digital signal processing (DSP) technologies, as well as related hardware and software system-level applications. Our diverse product portfolio addresses every major broadband communications market and includes solutions for digital cable and satellite set-top boxes; high definition television (HDTV); cable and digital subscriber line (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 and security 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®, the Connecting everything logo, 125 High Speed ModeTM, 54gTM, AirForceTM, OneDriverTM, SecureEZSetupTM, BroadRangeTM and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. MIPS® is a trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc.

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