Broadcom Extends 802.11g Portfolio

Broadcom, a provider of 80211-based products, today announced three additions to its wireless LAN product portfolio: 802.11g and 802.11a/g USB 2.0 adapters for consumer and corporate desktop computing systems; and a new wireless networking processor for secure 802.11a/g enterprise access point and router applications. These new products are being unveiled at the 80211 Planet Conference & Expo today.

According to market-information company The NPD Group, Broadcom has shipped 93 percent of all 802.11g connections sold through U.S. retail distribution channels. Additionally, all 802.11g-enabled notebooks that have been sold to date by major PC vendors are based on Broadcom 54g technology.

Broadcom claims to have the first 802.11g and 802.11a/g USB 2.0 adapters for desktop systems. By pairing the company’s 54g MaxPerformance technology with the high-bandwidth USB 2.0 interface, equipment vendors can provide a simple upgrade path to 54Mbps for home and enterprise computing systems. The USB interface gives users the ability to easily add standards-compliant 802.11g and 802.11a/g to desktop systems without removing the PC chassis cover. USB 2.0 technology delivers 480 Mbps of bandwidth, which is necessary to support 54Mbps wireless connections, while legacy USB 1.1 systems are capable of only 12Mbps.

Broadcom’s 802.11g and 802.11a/g USB 2.0 adapters are based on the company’s BCM94333U reference design. The complete design package includes the BCM4333 802.11 bridge processor and OneDriver USB 2.0 software development kit (SDK) in conjunction with Broadcom’s 802.11g or 802.11a/g chipset.

Broadcom’s new BCM4704P wireless network processor is the next generation of the company’s BCM4702 wireless network processor. The BCM4704P adds a network processing core that is capable of wire-speed Ethernet routing/bridging, as well as virtual private network (VPN) termination on an integrated IPSec security acceleration engine.

The BCM4704P integrates an advanced, custom 300 MHz MIPS32 processor core, two 10/100 Ethernet MACs, and a high-performance SDRAM controller capable of operating at 133MHz with either Double Data Rate (DDR) or Single Data Rate (SDR) SDRAM. For advanced security, the BCM4704P integrates an on-chip IPSec acceleration engine that can deliver up to 75Mbps of single-pass AES/3DES encryption throughput and supports a broad range of industry-standard security features, such as symmetric-key encryption and authentication algorithms including the latest 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Digital Encryption Standard (DES), 3DES, SHA-1, MD5, HMAC-SHA1 and HMAC-MD5. Additionally, the BCM4704 is available for customers seeking increased network processing performance in applications without on-chip IPSec acceleration and it is pin compatible with the BCM4704P.

All of Broadcom’s wireless solutions can be enhanced with its newly announced standards-based Xpress technology, which increases throughput by improving the efficiency of wireless transmissions. Performance gains afforded by Xpress technology are not limited to 802.11g or Broadcom products. Any 802.11 client adapter can receive Xpress technology packets and achieve better throughput. This is especially beneficial in many corporate networks that include equipment from multiple vendors. In homes, the additional bandwidth provided by Xpress will improve performance as consumers add wireless LAN-enabled devices to their home networks including desktop PCs, printers, handheld devices and media servers.

The AirForce BCM94333U 802.11 USB 2.0 reference designs and the BCM4704P/4704 wireless networking processor reference design are available now. Pricing is available upon request.

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