Conexant's New, Cheap 802.11b Chip

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

May 12, 2003

As the world moves on to 802.11a and/or g, one company hopes theirs still life in 802.11b chips, and with low prices there probably is.

Adding to its portfolio of physical layer (PHY) solutions for networking technologies like HomePlug and HomePNA (phoneline), Conexant Systems of Newport Beach, Calif., today announced its first 802.11b baseband with medium access controller (MAC) processor.

The chip, dubbed CX85410 is available standalone or as part of Conexant's home network processor for running broadband modems for DSL or cable systems -- letting original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) build WLAN functions into the broadband modems.

The 12x12 millimeter CX85410 will support multiple radios using the 2.4GHz band along with antenna diversity so it'll support multiple antennas. The chip will support standards WEP up to 128-bit and Wi-Fi Protected Access. 802.11i support will come later this year when the standard is ratified.

It will work on interface cards including PCI, miniPCI and CardBus PC Cards. Conexant provides reference designs for the latter two. Conexant says the chip is designed to deliver overall lower bill of materials costs. It uses on-chip SRAM so no external memory is needed on the circuit board. The chips will cost $8 each sold in quantities of 10,000.

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