Company Announces Programmable WLAN Processor

By Matthew Peretz

December 05, 2001

Chip designed to support 802.11b, 802.11a, and future 802.11g products. Multi-mode architecture designed to enhance versatility and reduce manufacturing and network maintenance costs.

On Monday, fabless semiconductor manufacturer embedded wireless devices (ewd) announced a single-chip, multi-protocol dual-band WLAN processor. The e8025G, as the chip is called, is designed to support 802.11b, 802.11a, and future 802.11g products. The trend towards silicon solutions that can function in multiple bands is important in reducing some of the risk companies incur in investing in a single technology that may be quickly outdated.

The e8025G processor enables OEMs to create one hardware platform serving multiple market segments in the increasingly competitive consumer and enterprise wireless products sector. The company pointed out that its e8000 family of processors is programmable for any combination of wireless networking protocols, reducing costs and shortening time to market. Its e8025G chip contains PHY and MAC layer solutions including: DSP/CPU; basebands; PCI and CardBus interfaces; DSP RAM; SRAM; eMOS Operating System and APIs.

Protocol implementation is accomplished by software configuration. This creates one hardware solution for multiple environments without changing interface cards. It should be noted, however, that the information was unclear as to whether the programmable DSP supports the multiple protocols and bands simultaneously or individually. Power consumption issues can also be a significant factor in utilizing programmable DSPs.

The solution does, however, require an RF solution to create a complete system and ewd stated that it has initiated the RFPartners Program to facilitate this. The RF chip is required to amplify and condition the signal from the antenna.

The e8025G Processor from ewd will be available in the first quarter of 2002, with pricing at $20/1,000 pieces, according to the company.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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