RealTime IT News

TI's Cable Modem 802.11b Reference Design

Texas Instruments continued its expansion into the 802.11 WLAN market today as it introduced its new cable modem refererence platform for wireless home networks. This will facilitate the development of a cable-enabled residential gateway for WLANs.

The reference design, called the TNETC408 Residential Gateway (RG) Solution, incorporates TI's DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) 1.1 cable modem technology along with TI's 802.11b single-chip MAC/baseband processor.

TI stated that it is working with third party developers to add RG functionality that includes firewall, NAT, DHCP, and Web-based management technologies. The reference design itself builts upon the TI DOCSIS 1.1 silicon and software, and incorporates TI's TurboDOX software, which the company says increases the performance and upstream capacity of the cable modem.

The RG also integrates TI's ACX100 802.11 single-chip MAC and baseband processor for WLANs. This chip supports 802.11b, and offers a proprietary extension to increase the range by up to 70%, according to TI. It also incorporates 22 Mbps data rate capabilities as opposed to the IEEE 802.11b standard's rate of 11 Mbps. This is in line with the company's efforts to support the acceptance of the recently ratified IEEE's 802.11g draft standard - since the chip supports PBCC-22, or high-rate wireless networking in the 2.4 Ghz band.

Ultimately, the combination of the RG with TI's cable modem technology should enable the company to produce robust multimedia solutions using 802.11 technologies in conjunction with broadband Internet access.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of