New Processor Supports 802.11a, 802.11b, Bluetooth, HomeRF and HiperLAN2

By Matthew Peretz

July 30, 2001

Supports networking at 5.7 GHz (802.11a) and 2.4 GHZ (802.11b) as well as Bluetooth, HomeRF, and HiperLAN2

Beginning in the first quarter of 2002, Embedded Wireless Devices, Inc. (EWD) announced today that it will be releasing two new processors that simultaneously support IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, Bluetooth, HomeRF, and HiperLAN2 WLANs. This means that they will support WLANs and other network infrastructures operating in both the 2.4 and 5.7 GHz bands.

The e8024 Voice and Data Broadband Wireless Gateway processor and the e9024 Voice and Data Wireless LAN processor will concurrently support processing in both bands, effectively eliminating several performance, interference, and co-existance problems that can occur within and between the two bands. IEEE 802.11b, which operates in the 2.4 GHz band, can suffer from interference from items like microwave ovens and cordless telephones. IEEE 802.11a, operating at 5.7 GHz, is unlicensed throughout much of the world and does not appear to suffer from the same interference issues.

Embedded Wireless Devices (EWD) reported that the processors are designed for residential and enterprise broadband wireless gateways and WLANs being deployed today. The company stated that the products eliminate Quality of Service, interference, and performance issuses that can occur when 802.11b coexists on a WLAN with other 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHz products. Both processors provide additional bandwitdh and basebands to support simultaneous voice/data transmission at both the broadband and premise-side distribution interfaces.

The two processors combine multiple on-chip basebands, which are based on the EWDC20 Core, and contain 32-bit CPUs and DSPs. Each processor incorporates a 40/60 MHz 32-bit RISC processor, controlling multiple 120 MHz function specific processors which in turn control each of the two basebands and I/O functions like USB slave-mode interface plus MAC 1 10 Mbit, and MAC 2 10/100 Mbit broadband inputs.The Embedded Multitasking Operating System, or eMOS, provides power management functions and fast context switching between basebands to seamlessly support both voice and data communications.

The two configurable basebands can support any combination of wireless protocols including 802.11a and 802.11 b on the same chip, or combinations like 802.11a and Bluetooth, HomeRF, or HiperLAN2.

"The majority of the current LANs and PANs operate at 2.4 GHz spectrum along with baby monitors and multi-handset cordless phones," stated Michael S. Frills, Chief Technical Officer at EWD. "The applications all operate independently and compete for the same radio spectrum using incompatible standards. This leads to interference and reduced performance. The use of the 5 GHz spectrum addresses this incompatibility and provides ample bandwidth for higher performance data applications."

EWD stated that pricing for the e8024 processor will be $20 per 1000 pieces. The e9024 will be $25 per 1000 pieces. This announcement follows hard on the heels of last week's announcement by Envara, whose dual mode 802.11a+b WiND chipsets will begin sampling in the fourth quarter of 2002, and will be available in 100K units for under $30

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