Resonext Announces Dual a/b Chipset

By Eric Griffith

October 07, 2002

The company hopes to give Atheros a run for their money with a new 802.11a/b combo chipset that uses only two chips.

Hot on the heels of announcing that its 802.11a chips are now in full production, Resonext Communications of San Jose, CA, today went public announcing its two-chip set that supports both 802.11a and 802.11b simultaneously, plus will 802.11g when it's ready in 2003.

This new RN5220 Chipset uses the same basic baseband/MAC processor as the RN5200, but with the dual-band CMOS radio on a single chip.

"We made minimum and necessary additions -- the 2.4GHz path, the radio -- [but] tried to keep all else the same [as our 802.11a chip] to minimize risk," says Robert Fan, vice president of marketing at Resonext. "Package is same, it's foot print compatible."

The single chip transceiver with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios is built on the 1.8V 0.18u CMOS process. It integrates Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA), filters, Phase Lock Loops (PLL), synthesizers and Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO) required for dual band. Resonext says in the announcement that the chip uses only 50% of the power consumption of "the only other competing 5GHz radio on the market today," which would be from Atheros.

"The difference is pretty dramatic," says Fan when comparing the dual-band solutions from his company and Atheros. "Ours is two chips with parallel radio, theirs is three chips with 2.4 translator. Our power is lower, design complexity is lower. Our performance is going to be higher at 2.4GHz, because they have a translator, so there's some performance penalty due to that staging and power consumption is another downside." Atheros' dual-band AR5001X, however, supports more 802.11a channels, 5.15-5.85GHz to Resonext's 5.15-5.35GHz on the UNII band.

The RN5220 use a proprietary AccuChannel equalization technology to counteract multi-path and signal attenuation delays, extending the range of the WLAN by up to 32% according to Resonext. They say it can reduce the need for extra access points, but of course it requires end to end use of Resonext RN5200 based products. The baseband/MAC chips use a Flexible Media Access Controller architecture that is programmable by OEM customers, just like the 5GHz-only RN5200.

The RN5220 chips are sampling to customers now and is expected to enter volume production in the first quarter of 2003.

802.11 Planet Conference Not sure if you want 11b, 11a or both? Join us at the 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo, Dec. 3-5 in Santa Clara, CA. One of our sessions will answer the question of Dual-Mode Chipsets: The Ultimate Solution?

Comment and Contribute
(Maximum characters: 1200). You have
characters left.