Toshiba Gets into WLAN Chips

By Eric Griffith

September 20, 2002

New 5GHz 802.11a chips from Toshiba's American subsidiary are meant to target the future of wireless audio and video distribution.

San Jose, CA-based Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC), a company owned by Toshiba America, this week announced a new 5GHz chip set for high-speed 802.11a-based wireless networks.

The first of the two chips is the TC35672, a baseband large scale integration processor with dedicated circuit for processing data at 54Mbps, with 10-bit analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters that operate at 40MHz. The chip uses the proprietary Toshiba TX39 core and power management to reduce power consumption.

The other chip, the TA32151, is an intermediate frequency (IF) integrated circuit (IC) that interfaces directly with the baseband. This IC will take signals from a radio frequency RF chip (not included as part of this set) and executes orthogonal modulation and demodulation to transmit signals to the baseband.

The chip set supports CardBus (32-bit PCMCIA) interface and will integrate into PCI cards, access points, and even directly into PCs and PDAs. The chip is expected to conform to testing requirements from the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) for Wi-Fi certification.

Pricing is expected to be about $65 total for both chips together ($60 for the baseband, $5 per IF IC) in quantities of 100. The chips won't go into mass production until March 2003. (Earlier this week, WLAN chip maker Intersil introduced its own 802.11a line of chips, with prices reportedly starting at $35, which Intersil claims is the cheapest 802.11a silicon available.)

TAEC says the near future for them will include announcements of dual-band 5GHz and 2.5GHz chips that support 802.11a and 11b, as well as supporting security advances like 802.1X, Temporal Keying Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

Still not sure if you need 802.11b or 802.11a? Join us at the 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo, Dec. 3-5 in Santa Clara, CA. One of our sessions will cover "2.4 GHz or 5GHz? Strategies for Choosing the Right Spectrum."

Originally published on .

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