Agere Shows New Multi-mode Design

Wi-Fi chipmaker Agere Systems of Allentown, Pa., is again teaming up with network processor and platform designer Ubicom of Mountain View, Calif. to create reference designs for future 802.11a/b/g products suitable for SOHOs and SMBs.

“About a year ago we did an announcement with our 11b and their 2000 series [processor],” says Frans Frielink, director of business development for Agere’s computing connectivity division. “In the meantime they developed their 3000. We are now working together on reference designs… [that] willl make nice high performance routers, access points or even gaming devices.”

The new designs for products to be made by ODM and OEMs will combine the Agere WaveLAN multimode chip with Ubicom’s IP3023 wireless network processor and software.

Frielink points out that Ubicom doesn’t use just some Linux overlay like other chip makers, but that its ipOS network operating system software has its own code-base. ODMs can then write on top of it with C to introduce further features.

The reference designs will concentrate on the middle of the market — no low end sub-$100 consumer products, nor any light-weight AP designs.

Agere announced its low-cost WaveLAN 802.11a/b/g chipset last summer, which uses very few chips: a power amplifier, MAC, baseband, and a single radio chip for both 11a and 11b/g.

The two companies will be showing the designs at the CeBIT 2004 show in Germany later this month. They design won’t be available to sample until the second quarter, with volume production expected in the latter half of the year.

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