802.11b Wireless Access Point Reference Design Kit Released Using Linux for Customization

Intersil Corporation announced yesterday that it is releasing its new WLAN access point-on-a-chip reference design using an ARM9-based Medium Access Controller (MAC) combined with an Open Source Linux OS. The PRISM ISL36356A is designed to be used in SOHO, enterprise, and public WLANs.

The company claims that the use of the Linux operating system will enable OEMs to add custom features or applications to add value to their product offering. Intersil claims that this is the first time that the access point has been opened up for such customization.

An Access Point Developer’s Kit is now available which contains the components necessary to enable OEMs to customize their product offerings. The kit contains the reference design, which has been pre-tested to ensure Wi-Fi and standards compatibility. It also includes the Linux OS which interfaces with the MAC core, plus customization instructions, configuration software, end-user documentation, testing tools, and a firmware upgrade mechanism.

According to Intersil, the ARM9 processor has enough power that it can handle current traffic and support future standards such as Quality of Service (802.11e) and enhanced security extensions (802.11i).

Customization examples that OEMs might build-in include layered security systems, Internet sharing, NAT, DHCP, user tracking, publan utilities, remote access control, and other features using open source code.

PRISM-based systems are currently optimized for 802.11b systems. More information about the ISL36356A Acess Point Developer’s Kit and Licensing Agreement can be found at the company’s Web site.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com

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