6/2/2004 - Athena Semiconductors, Inc. unveiled two Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) chipsets for wireless connectivity primarily in Cardbus and MiniPCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) solutions. The ATL200 chipset is a dual-band solution for 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g wireless connectivity. The ATL100 chipset is a single-band solution for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless connectivity. Athena’s new chipsets boast high yield features that provide suppliers of WLAN networking equipment, original design manufacturers, and notebook and handheld device manufacturers with high performance and lower cost implementations compared to competing solutions.
Athena Semiconductors has developed a unique radio platform that combines low-cost Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Radio Frequency (RF) radios with advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processor)-based calibration and compensation techniques. This combination has been used to achieve far greater advantages than any other similar solution. The radio platform uses a proprietary version of Direct Conversion Architecture (DCA) for the company’s CMOS radio implementations allowing calibration signals to interact with the radio to correct for signal distortions that can result from imperfections in the CMOS process at high radio frequencies. The digital calibration of the chip on power up dramatically reduces CMOS parametric yield loss and delivers superior radio performance. The radio platform also allows the company to achieve high chip yields, high performance and low manufacturing costs. The chipsets also minimize production costs by reducing the need for calibration during manufacturing. Ultimately, this design enables Athena Semiconductors to provide its customers with high performance solutions that offer lower implementation costs compared with competing solutions.
The chipsets contain a state-of-the-art digital modem that has been designed to provide maximum throughput in the most challenging environments. The algorithms are designed to deliver high throughputs even in the most severe indoor environments. The Medium Access Controller (MAC) in the chipsets supports advanced security standards providing a high degree of protection for networks. The MAC is also readily upgradeable to support Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video applications. A complete suite of operating system drivers and software compliment the chipsets.
Both chipsets are in mass production and are available for volume shipments.
“The ATL200 and ATL100 chipsets offer a compelling combination of high performance and cost-saving benefits to equipment and device makers for WLAN connectivity,” commented Pratap Reddy, president, COO and co-founder. “We also have complete reference designs for cardbus and miniPCI form factor solutions, which are also now shipping, to enable our customers to realize seamless development processes and faster time to market.”
Market research firm In-Stat estimates that on average wireless data users remotely access corporate computers and networks about 19 times per month with email being the most widely accessed application. In general, experts are bullish on the market for WLAN chipsets. In-Stat also estimates that WLAN chipset shipments will grow from around 25 million units in 2003 to around 65 million units in 2006. Semico Research estimates the market for WLAN chipsets for Network Interface Cards (NIC) and access points will generate revenue growth from around $370 million in 2002 to $2.2 billion in 2007. With competitive solutions that combine high performance with cost-saving manufacturing and implementation benefits for customers, Athena is poised to benefit from such dramatic market growth.
About Athena Semiconductors
Athena Semiconductors, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company delivering system-on-a-chip solutions for the global wireless broadband market. The company’s standards-based products enable the delivery of wireless broadband voice, video and data services with Quality of Service capabilities to ensure high reliability. Athena’s corporate headquarters are in Fremont, California and design centers are located in Athens, Greece and Bangalore, India. The company’s global team has strong CMOS RF, DSP, networking IC and software expertise to deliver its high performance products to the wireless Local-, Wide- and Personal-Area-Network (LAN, WAN and PAN) markets. In two rounds of funding, Athena has raised $20 million from leading venture capitalists and organizations including Alliance Venture Management, Needham Capital Partners and Samsung Electronics Company. More information about Athena Semiconductors can be found at http://www.athenasemi.com.
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