2009 CES Wi-Fi Round-up Day One

By Naomi Graychase

January 08, 2009

Opening day of CES 2009 saw a slew of Wi-Fi announcements, including a bevy of new products from Buffalo Technologies, back in the game after the CSIRO injunction was lifted late last year.

Opening day of CES 2009 saw a slew Wi-Fi announcements, including a bevy of new products from Buffalo Technologies (back in the game after the CSIRO injunction was lifted).

CES opened today in Las Vegas for its 42nd year of shows. While other staples of the technology trade show circuit are failing or faltering, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) says its venerable show, which has seen over the years the debut of the VCR, the camcorder, and the DVD, among other things, has plans to continue through 2022.

Wi-Fi has its own ever-expanding product category and floor area at the show. No surprise, given that more and more consumer electronics are incorporating Wi-Fi and, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat, Wi-Fi chipset sales grew 26 percent to 387 million in 2008. Among the highlights…

Routers, Repeaters, and APs

Buffalo Technology, able to sell Wi-Fi equipment again in the U.S., at least temporarily, announced today new wireless home equipment in the Nfiniti and AirStation families of routers, access points, and clients.

The Wireless-N Nfiniti High Power Wireless Router & Access Point (WZR-HP-G300NH, $99.99) is engineered for SOHO environments. Buffalo says it offers “an enterprise level of features,” and is ideal for streaming HD movies, music, and other tasks that benefit from 802.11n.

Other features include:

  • Support for WDS to increase coverage with optional repeater
  • External switch, to change between wireless router and wireless  access point
  • AirStation One-Touch Secure System for easy set up
  • Supports WPA-PSK (TKIP, AES) and 128/64-bit WEP Security
  • Includes NAT and SPI firewall and intrusion detector
  • Dynamic packet filtering
  • Built-in DHCP server
  • Built-in 10/100 4-port auto-sensing switch

Also announced today, the Wireless-N Nfiniti Router & Access Point (WHR-G300N, $79.99) an entry-level version of the WZR-HP-G300NH.

Other new offerings include, the Wireless-G MIMO Performance Router & Access Point (WHR-HP-G54, $59.99), which features a built-in signal amplifier that Buffalo says produces a true 60% increase in wireless transmit power over a standard 802.11g wireless router. Security features include WPA, WEP, Privacy Separator, Intrusion Detector, and SPI firewall. Nfiniti Wireless-N Compact USB 2.0 Adapter WLI-UC G300N.jpg

The Nfiniti Dual Band Ethernet Converter (WLI-TX4-AG300N, $89.99) “offers a wireless solution for all wired network home entertainment devices in your home.” Buffalo says “its chassis is designed for installation beside digital televisions and HD recorders. Up to four wired devices can be converted to the wireless network, and you don't need to have a LAN cable from each device to your router.”

The IEEE802.11n Draft 2.0-converter is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED to ensure compatibility with other certified wireless devices. It is, of course, backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g clients.

Buffalo also announced three Wireless-N Compact USB 2.0 Adapters (WLI-UC-G300HP, $79.99; WLI-UC-G300N, $69.99, pictured; WLI-UC-GN, $59.99 ). They add high-speed wireless connectivity through any available USB port. The smallest of the three (the WLI-UC-GN) measures only half an inch

Chipset match

Atheros is celebrating its ten-year anniversary by demo’ing its latest networking and connectivity products in a private booth at CES this year.

On display are Atheros’s newly branded Align 802.11n solutions for home networking and PCs, as well as its newest 2Tx/2Rx XSPAN value-class, multimedia networking solutions and its “highest-performance dual-radio, dual-concurrent router solution,” which Atheros says is featured in most of the dual-radio routers shown this week at CES.

Advanced peer-to-peer networking and next-gen Bluetooth are also on tap. In a statement issued today, Atheros said it will demonstrate “the forthcoming, high-speed Bluetooth technology, which will significantly expand personal networking applications supported by Bluetooth with its Wi-Fi-enabled speed, capacity, and range.”

Mobile gaming (in the form of Nintendo’s ROCm-enabled Nintendo Dsi) and GPS will round out Atheros’s CES offerings.


Wireless headphones and speakers from Campbell-California-based G2 Microsystems are on display at the Intel booth. G2 says it is “making it easier than ever” to wirelessly connect headphones, speakers, and other Wi-Fi devices directly to Intel Centrino 2-based notebooks, “eliminating the need for separate access points or cables.” Consumer devices that have G2's Wi-Fi networking module embedded inside can connect directly to Intel My Wi-Fi-technology-enabled notebooks. In other words, no need for wires—or Bluetooth.

"We're showing how direct Wi-Fi access can transform the audio streaming experience, but we also envision G2 Microsystems' technology simplifying other PC-based tasks, such as wireless printing and synchronization between a digital photo frame and your photo archives," said Geoff Smith, G2 founder and CEO in a press release today. "Our comprehensive networking communications module ensures that manufacturers can Wi-Fi-enable a variety of PC peripherals quickly and easily." As we anticipated, low power consumption will be a theme at CES this year, and G2 is joining that parade saying, “G2's ultra-low-power solutions make it feasible, for the first time, to develop alkaline battery-powered Wi-Fi devices, opening up possibilities for Wi-Fi in portable audio, home automation, and health monitoring devices.”

Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance issued a statement today saying, "Wi-Fi has solidified its position as an essential technology for the home and the enterprise in 2008, and we expect our strong growth trajectory to continue. Wi-Fi is a feature that users have come to expect in a wide array of products, and device makers are including Wi-Fi in everything from handsets to mini-notebooks to media players.” Stay tuned for more CES Wi-Fi news tomorrow.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet. She attended her first CES show in 1996.

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