9/3/2004 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, announced that its AirForceTM wireless LAN access point and client reference designs are among the first products to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM for WPA2TM (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2). Driven by the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA2 certification ensures that wireless LAN products based on Broadcom® AirForceTM chipsets are interoperable with other products implementing WPA2 security features. The Wi-Fi Alliance has also chosen Broadcom's popular IEEE 802.11a/g access point reference design (the BCM94712P) and 802.11g CardBus reference design (the BCM94306M) to be used in the certification process for other Wi-Fi® products in the WPA2 test environment.
"WPA2 is the next major step towards securing Wi-Fi networks for business, government and home applications," said David Cohen, Senior Marketing Manager for Broadcom's Home & Wireless Networking Business Unit. "Broadcom is proud to be among the first vendors to have its products certified for WPA2, and will continue to provide equipment manufacturers with the latest building blocks to meet the security requirements of all Wi-Fi customers."
WPA2 is the next-generation Wi-Fi security standard, combining the most powerful authentication and encryption techniques to protect wireless networks from unauthorized use. Based upon the recently-ratified IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 adds the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to the original WPATM specification to provide the greatest levels of network security available. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advocates the use of AES security to protect sensitive digital information on government networks.
All 802.11g and 802.11a/g Wi-Fi products shipped based on Broadcom technology feature an on-chip AES encryption/decryption engine, which maintains maximum performance when running the computationally-intensive AES algorithm. Thanks to this built-in hardware support, all new and existing products based on Broadcom's wireless LAN solutions can be upgraded to the new WPA2 standard with a simple software download. In contrast, products attempting to run software-based AES are likely to experience severe performance degradation and may require costly hardware changes or full product replacement to properly employ the 802.11i security standard.
"The ratification of 802.11i by the IEEE and the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification process for WPA2 will be a boost to the enterprise Wi-Fi market," said Phil Solis, wireless analyst from ABI Research. "Those Wi-Fi IC vendors who have already been including hardware-based AES implementations in their designs will be able to provide firmware upgrades to existing customers to implement WPA2 without a performance hit."
By becoming one of the first vendors to achieve WPA2 certification, Broadcom continues to offer the industry's broadest portfolio of security features. Its AirForce reference designs were also part of the original WPA test bed, and among the first products to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for WPA. To simplify Wi-Fi security for consumers, the company recently introduced SecureEZSetupTM, a unique software wizard that automates the configuration of WPA settings for products based on Broadcom technology. For enterprise Wi-Fi users, Broadcom offers certified support for Cisco Compatible Extensions (versions one and two), providing additional security, network management and roaming features that are compatible with the Cisco Aironet® wireless LAN infrastructure.
"Leading companies like Broadcom are committed to WPA2 as an industry-wide security solution," said Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director, Frank Hanzlik. "Its commitment to this interoperability initiative, along with many others in the industry, underscores the broad level of support for this important security enhancement."
WPA2 is designed to be backward compatible with the original WPA standard, while extending the level of data protection. Both standards use IEEE 802.1x and Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) authentication techniques, but WPA2 supplants the original Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) encryption with the more powerful Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Because the latter is part of the IEEE 802.11i standard and required for certain government applications, WPA2 will likely be adopted by corporate and government customers. However, WPA (Wi-Fi Protected AccessTM) will continue to play a valuable role in meeting the security needs for many Wi-Fi users.
Broadcom's AirForceTM Wireless LAN Product Family
Broadcom's high performance wireless LAN product line includes 54gTM, 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 OneDriverTM software solutions into reference designs that speed customer time to market. Broadcom also offers the AirForce OneTM family of single-chip 802.11b and 802.11g solutions to enable embedded Wi-Fi connectivity in a wide variety of mobile devices. Broadcom partners are developing 54gTM Wi-Fi client solutions, access points, routers, switches, cable modems, DSL modems, VoIP phones, Bluetooth® solutions and GPRS cellular products.
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 www.broadcom.com.
Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, 54gTM, AirForceTM, AirForce OneTM, OneDriverTM, SecureEZSetupTM 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 , Wi-Fi Protected Access 2TM, WPATM and WPA2TM are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Cisco Aironet® is a trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc. Bluetooth® is a trademark of the Bluetooth SIG.
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