Metalink Ltd., a provider of high-performance wireless and wireline broadband communication silicon solutions, announced that it has concluded a series of live demonstrations of its WLANPlus(TM) chipset, a technology based on the emerging 802.11n standard, with unique capabilities for wireless multimedia distribution. For the first time, advanced Wi-Fi technology was used to demonstrate the delivery of multiple simultaneous high-definition television (HDTV) streams anywhere in the home, with full quality of service (QoS) guarantees.
"We believe that in 2007, driven by the adoption of the 802.11n standard, Wi-Fi chipsets will be widely used by consumer electronics manufacturers for products such as HDTV displays and DVRs," said Philip Solis, senior analyst at ABI Research. "We expect the number of Wi-Fi ICs sold into consumer electronics to grow from 6.6 million units in 2004 to over 70 million units in 2007."
"The consumer electronics market is presenting a huge opportunity for Wi-Fi chip-sets while increasing the technological bar dramatically beyond current Wi-Fi specifications." said Tzvika Shukman, Metalink's chairman and chief executive officer. "Over the past three years, Metalink has focused on developing its cutting edge WLANPlus technology, and we are proud to see the endorsement of our solution by global leaders of the CE industry - characterizing our offering as the best Multiple-HDTV streaming Wi-Fi solution they have seen. The performance we have exhibited is a result of our WLANPlus incorporating the most challenging elements of the emerging 802.11n standard specification while combining them with proprietary innovative architectures."
Metalink recently announced a partnership with Renesas Technology Corp., the world's leading Microcontrollers Company. Renesas and Metalink plan to jointly develop product designs that incorporate both companies' integrated circuits. Metalink has also announced its cooperation with Haier Corporation, the leading Chinese manufacturer of household electrical appliances, to develop advanced consumer electronics products enabling unmatched wireless multimedia networking throughout the home.
Metalink's WLANPlus family consists of the company's MtW8170 baseband device and the MtW8150 radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC). WLANPlus has been developed in line with draft specifications for the future 802.11n high-speed Wi-Fi standard, which were unanimously approved by the 802.11n Task Group (TGn) in January 2006. Metalink continues to play a pivotal role in the standards finalization process, and is at the forefront of efforts to optimize 802.11n technology for demanding wireless video entertainment applications in such consumer electronics products as digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs), high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and media adapters.
A combination of features enables Metalink's WLANPlus family to deliver multiple HDTV streams to any location within a radius of 100 feet, while maintaining full QoS performance. Innovative packet-aggregation techniques boost media access control (MAC) efficiency with double the effective throughput of other solutions. The inclusion of 2x3 real Multiple-In Multiple-Out (real MIMO) technology further improves throughput and QoS, and the use of sophisticated channel-bonding and antenna-loading techniques in the 5 GHz frequency band provide critical additional video-distribution performance.
The WLANPlus chipset also includes a full implementation of an integrated lower and upper MAC, reducing dramatically the required processing power and memory allocation from the host application processor. This simplifies the integration with consumer electronics devices and reduces the total product cost. Additionally, Advanced Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) forward error-correction (FEC) coding significantly boosts coverage range and signal robustness as compared to previous approaches. The chipset also fully supports 802.11i security features and the 802.11e QoS standard, both of which are critical for high-priority voice and video services.
Metalink has established a roadmap for additional performance enhancements using the current WLANPlus platform, and these new features will be incorporated into the company's next generation of WLANPlus products, which will be released concurrent with 802.11n industry certification.
The WLANPlus product line is now being designed into systems at several leading consumer electronics manufacturers, and is priced below $20 in high volumes.