SMC Powers Up to Increase Range

This week Irvine, CA-based SMC Networks announced the first in its EliteConnect line of wireless network cards products designed to provide high power transmissions.

The $139.99 (MSRP) SMC2532W-B 2.4GHz 802.11b High Power Wireless PC Card offers a transmit power of about 200 milliWatts (mW) –which translates to 23dBm + 2 — about twice what’s available in most Wi-Fi cards and enough to overcome the signal attenuation posed by a metal door in a brick wall. The company says it has an operating range of 2,700 feet. The power on the card is not user adjustable. It’s powered by the Intersil PRISM 2.5 chipset.

The card also supports optional high-gain antennas to further increase the range, which can be connected via the card’s MMCX (micro-miniature) connectors.

It comes with an EZ Installation wizard for setting up the card. The SMC2532W-B is Wi-Fi Certified, supports 64- and 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), and will be upgradeable to Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). When the WPA upgrade is made available in the second quarter of this year, it will also include an upgrade to give the SMC2532W-B support for 802.1X user authentication.

SMC plans to release EliteConnect CardBus cards support 802.11g and 802.11a/g in the future.

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