D-Link’s Upcoming 802.11a Compliant Devices

Product developer and manufacturer D-Link Friday announced three new IEEE 802.11a compliant WLAN devices with plans for full production roll outs in Q1, 2002.

D-Link calls these wireless products the D-LinkAir DWL-A series for WLANs. They are based on the Atheros AR5000 chip set, which is 802.11a spec-complaint.

The D-LinkAir DWL-A520 802.11a PCI adapter, the DWL-A650 802.11a Wireless PC Card adaptor, and the DWL-5000AP 802.11a Wireless Access Point all operate in the 5 GHz frequency band, supporting standard spec data rates of 54 Mbps and data rates of up to 100 Mbps in Atheros Turbo Mode (propriety mode).

The DWL-A650 is a PCMCIA Type-II card and the A520 is a PCI 2.2 compliant network adapter. They both operate on 3.3 or 5.0 V DC.

As is standard with most 802.11a products coming to market the products support 128-bit encryption, key exchange mechanisms, and IEEE 802.1x Security. D-Link also stated that they feature 24-bit Initialization Vector at full line speed without performance degradation. They operate in either ad-hoc or infrastructure mode with data transmit rate values stepping up and down from 6 to 100 Mbps when operating in Turbo Mode or up to 54 Mbps in IEEE spec-compliant mode.

D-Link stated that the products are also compatible with CableLabs CQoS, Microsoft GQoS, and IEEE 802.1p/q QoS. The two adaptors feature integrated dual diversity antennas with 1.5 dBi gain to enable cell to cell roaming as well as across access points (APs). The adapters are currently compatible with MS Win98SE, ME, 2000, and XP, and other popular operating systems according to the company.

The DWL 5000AP access point, as is typical with APs, can function as Ethernet-to-Wireless Bridge or to build out existing infrastructure to extend WLAN range. The AP can interface with a residential gateway or DSL/Cable modem and supports data transmit features similar to the card adapters.

The products are in pre-production in small quantities during December with high production planned for Q1, 2002. The MSRP on the AP is $439, and $219 for the DWL-A520 and $169 for the DWL-A650. The products come with a standard 3-year warranty for the adapters and a 1-year warranty for the AP with free tech support and software updates.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com

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