RealTime IT News

D-Link to use Atheros and Intersil Chips

Chipmakers Intersil and Atheros Communciations both released separate announcements today to say that D-Link of Irvine, Calif., will be using chipsets from both companies in its future product lines.

Intersil, which recently announced the sale of its entire PRISM WLAN line of chipsets to GlobalspanVirata, will be selling D-Link its 802.11g-based PRISM GT chips for use in two new products: the AirPlus Xtreme G DWL-124 USB Adapter, and the DWL-G810 Ethernet-to-Wireless Bridge (announced last week).

Atheros will be providing its third-generation chips, which support 802.11a, b, and g for use in a variety of products, including routers, access points, and adapters for notebooks and desktop PCs. Specifics on the products were not disclosed.

Atheros says D-Link will be the first company to market using Atheros's announced Super G and Super A/G performance enhancements, which use a mixture of things including frame bursting, compression, and modulation tweaks to enhance TCP throughput. The products should ship at the end of the third quarter of this year, in time for the holiday shopping season. Atheros last month said it's also started to ship as many as one million chipsets per month, a company record. That includes 802.11b/g and 802.11a/b/g chips.

The Intersil PRISM GT product, on the other hand, will use the technology Intersil calls Nitro, which is a form of frame bursting as well. The upgrade to Nitro will come from D-Link using Intersil's SingleSource software driver suite.

The various bursting methods are based on the future 802.11e specification which will bring IEEE-specified throughput enhancements and multimedia Quality of Service (QoS) to the various flavors of 802.11. They will be backwards compatible to standard 802.11b and 11g-based components.

Despite sale of the PRISM product line, it's expected that current Intersil customers will see no immediate impact.

D-Link made a splash over the last year using chips from Texas Instruments that ran the 22Mbps so-called 802.11b+, which used a different modulation than standard 802.11b to get better performance. TI is also developing 802.11g chips.