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Netgear and Atheros expand Wi-Fi home networking
Posted: 04-Oct-2004 [Source: Atheros]

[New Wi-Fi gear makes running concurrent networks feasible while reducing dead spots.]

NETGEAR has selected Atheros' 802.11a/b/g WLAN solution with eXtended Range (XR) technology for its new high-performance Double 108 Mbps Wireless Firewall Router (WGU624). NETGEAR also introduced the NETGEAR Double 108 Mbps Wireless PC Card (WG511U), which can be used in conjunction with its new router.

The NETGEAR router not only provides consumers with market-leading performance, but also offers two concurrent wireless networks for home networking applications. Using the Atheros AR5004X chipset, the router provides an 802.11b/g network for consumers' typical data needs, including email, file downloads and Internet browsing, and an 802.11a network, which operates in the less congested 5 Ghz band, to support high-quality video and audio streaming. The 802.11a network supports bandwidth-hungry applications and offers more channels and less "noise" than the 802.11b/g network, which can be plagued by interference from microwave ovens and cordless telephones.

Atheros' innovative XR technology enables the NETGEAR router to cover multi-story brick or masonry homes and reduces dead spots. While typical 802.11 chipset solutions focus heavily on maximizing throughput in benchmark tests or in office environments, few perform well at long range or in more challenging spaces, such as in a multi-story home. Atheros chipset solutions, however, dramatically stretch the performance of a WLAN by embedding separate optimized designs for high performance, high signal-to-noise and long range, low signal-to-noise ratio environments. The architecture delivers receive sensitivities of up to -105dBm, over 20 dB better than the 802.11 specification. The eXtended Range operation is transparent to end users, and wireless products enabled with XR technology are fully interoperable with Wi- Fi compliant third-party chipsets.

"The NETGEAR Double 108 Mbps Router and PC Card are solving the challenge of Wi-Fi product range by using XR technology to deliver access throughout a home," stated Colin Macnab, vice president of marketing and business development of Atheros Communications. "NETGEAR and Atheros' continued innovation is an indication of how home networking is evolving. The growth of streaming video, audio and other advanced applications require more innovative, robust network support such as that offered by NETGEAR."

The NETGEAR Double 108 Mbps router and card are also equipped with Super AG(TM) technology that offers data link rates of up to 108 Mbps over both the 802.11b/g and 802.11a streams, while maintaining backwards-compatibility with both wireless standards.

The low-power Atheros AR5004X chipset used by NETGEAR also supports the industry's most robust security standard, IEEE 802.11i. An AES encryption engine is built into the hardware of all Atheros 802.11a/b/g and 802.11b/g chipsets, allowing real-time encryption with no performance degradation in computing, consumer electronics and wireless broadband applications. Atheros' chipsets also support the WMM(TM) (Wi-Fi Multimedia) and draft 802.11e Quality of Service (QoS) specifications, providing advanced features for delivering wired-quality video and audio content via a wireless connection.

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