Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHR - News), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced its newest Wi-Fi chip, the AR9374, which brings powerful wireless connectivity to fixed consumer electronics, enabling consumers to enjoy content everywhere in the home with connected TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, digital media adapters, home network-attached-storage, speakers, game consoles and wireless audio products. With an increased number of Wi-Fi devices crowding the 2.4 GHz band, consumers now need to leverage the 5 GHz band for reliable media-rich applications that require interference-free bandwidth and less latency. The AR9374 chip also offers 40MHz transmissions to support high data rate applications without the limitations of range and costs associated with previous Wi-Fi standards.
The introduction of this latest chip further demonstrates Atheros' commitment to developing new and innovative Wi-Fi technologies. With its extensive technology portfolio and established expertise in 5 GHz radio development, Atheros is now delivering a highly integrated, single-chip solution capable of connecting multiple consumer electronics devices everywhere in the home.
As the leading supplier of high performance and cost-effective dual-band 802.11n silicon for computing and networking products, Atheros is at the forefront of the emerging applications for Wi-Fi technologies to ably support advanced multimedia. Atheros offers an end-to-end portfolio of dual-band 802.11n devices that enable consistent video and audio streaming and distribution throughout the home.
* The AR9374 is a single-chip dual-band 802.11n MIMO solution with integrated efficient power amplifiers (EPAs) and low noise amplifiers (LNAs) that enables reliable wireless connectivity and advanced streaming performance at similar prices as previous single-stream solutions, eliminating cost barriers for consumer electronics manufacturers to step up to more media-capable Wi-Fi.
* The AR9374 integrates powerful CPU and on-chip memory to offload all WLAN functions from the host processor, making it easier for consumer electronics manufacturers to incorporate high performance Wi-Fi to connected TV designs. The chip achieves full host offload without the use of external memory, resulting in the lowest total solution cost in the industry.
* The AR9374 delivers up to 170 Mbps of actual wireless throughput (300 Mbps data rate) and a full complement of advanced 11n options (transmit beam forming, low density parity check, space-time block code, maximum ratio combine, and maximum likelihood detection receiver) to provide more robust rate-over-range, resulting in reliable wireless coverage for higher throughput applications.
* The AR9374 solution incorporates advanced Atheros algorithms to assure robust delivery of video and audio streams in typical home networking environments.
* The AR9374 features include an efficient sleep mode and wake-on-wireless mode to reduce system power consumption that addresses the increasingly strict energy regulations for TV manufacturers.
* The AR9374 is the first in the industry to support both SDIO and USB HSIC, offering interface flexibility.
* Samples of the AR9374 chip are now available.
Gary Szilagyi, vice president and general manager, consumer electronics, Atheros Communications:
"The AR9374 solution showcases Atheros' superior integration and enables the proliferation of high performance wireless connectivity to mainstream consumer electronics products. Consumers are not only creating huge amounts of digital content, but are taking better advantage of media services that are delivered over the Internet that are increasing the demands on connectivity. We wanted to create a simple and reliable way to access, share and enjoy this digital content in multiple devices anywhere in the home."
Michael Inouye, senior analyst, ABI Research:
"Shipments of fixed connected video-centric CE devices are anticipated to eclipse 450 million devices by 2016, more than doubling the volume expected in 2011. This shows consumers' desire to enjoy rich content throughout their home on connected TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices. Advances in wireless technology, such as Atheros' AR9374 Chip, will help manufacturers and consumers take advantage of the 5 GHz band which is expected to reduce interference and latency, improving quality of experience."