SMC Goes 11g

By Eric Griffith

February 18, 2003

SMC Networks is the latest company to announce SOHO products that will use the faster and backwards-compatible 802.11g Wi-Fi standard.

SMC Networks of Irvine, CA, today announced that by March of this year will be begin shipping products based on the draft of the 802.11g standard.

The first products in the line of "G" products will be the Barricade G 2.4GHz 54Mbps Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router for $139MSRP, the EZ Connect G 2.4GHz 54Mbps Wireless PCI Card for $89.99 and the EZ Connect G 2.4GHz 54Mbps Wireless CardBus Adapter for $79.99.

The router will support the usual litany of features: NAT and SPI firewall, 4-port dual-speed 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports for wired clients, VPN passthru, WEP encryption with WPA upgrade available when ready.

All products are based on Intersil's PRISM GT 802.11g chipset, and according to Betty Chan, product manager at SMC, the company "anticipates fully upgradeability to G standard, which will be ratified this year."

Recent estimates by the 802.11g Task Group say full ratification of the specification should take place in June. The specification just passed muster with the 802.11 Working Group but now goes on to receive technical comments.

802.11g products that have already shipped, some based on PRISM GT and other's on Broadcom's AirForce, have been under some scrutiny for not supplying the throughput hoped for (802.11a, which used the same OFDM modulation scheme, averages around 22Mbps in real world tests -- current testing with 802.11g products here at 802.11 Planet have only shown through put at about 14Mbps). Chan, however, claims that internal tests at SMC with their products show 21 to 23Mbps, which she calls "pretty impressive" compared to test they did with a competitor's product.

"The chipset has a lot to do with it," says Chan.

Other companies with SOHO 802.11g products currently available include Buffalo Technology, Linksys, D-Link, and Apple ; products from Netgear, Belkin, and Actiontec are announced but not shipping yet.



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