Atheros Reveals Two New 802.11n Mobile Solutions, One Dual-Band

Recently, 802.11ac made a lot of noise in the tech world by promising wireless transfers nearing 1Gbps. That's mighty fast for Wi-Fi, and with the amount of HD multi-media being transferred and consumed these days, we'd say it'll be more of a necessity than ever before in the coming months and years. But what about phones? Will they be left out of the high-speed fun? Not if Atheros has anything to do with it. The company has just introduced a new 2-stream mobile 802.11n solution that enables both phones and tablets (as well as other mobile devices) to enjoy dual-band connectivity.

Dual-band setups aren't uncommon in the desktop world, with a great many routers supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. But it's almost unheard of at a mobile level. The new higher speed XSPAN Wi-Fi solution is being launched alongside the 1-stream 802.1nn solution, which falls into the Align segment and promises to be more power efficient. The AR6004 dual-band chip delivers up to 170Mbps of actual wireless throughput, which is way more than you'll ever need for existing media. The AR6004 offers dual-band capabilities and 40 MHz transmissions that enable even the smallest devices to support high data-rate applications.

The AR6005 is the world's smallest 1-stream, single-band 802.11n solution for mobile devices, and it's capable of delivering up to 48Mbps. The AR6004 is expected to sample in Q2 2011 and ship in volume production by early 2012, while the AR6005 is expected to sample this quarter and ship in volume production by the end of 2011. Hopefully we'll see them in actual handsets shortly after that.

Atheros Paves the Way for Wi-Fi Connectivity in More Mobile Devices With Two Groundbreaking Solutions

2-Stream Mobile 802.11n Solution Raises the Performance Bar for Smartphones and Tablets, World's Smallest 1-Stream 802.11n Solution Broadens the Possibilities for Wi-Fi in Feature Phones and Other Mainstream Devices

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), today ushered in a new era of mobile connectivity with two new Wi-Fi® solutions for cellular phones, tablets, eReaders, gaming devices and other handheld consumer electronic (CE) products. Atheros is raising the performance bar with a 2-stream mobile 802.11n solution for devices that need the higher speed of XSPAN® Wi-Fi capabilities for media applications. Atheros is also delivering the world's smallest and most energy efficient 1-stream 802.11n solution, which brings the performance and enhanced software features of Align® Wi-Fi to even the sleekest feature phones.

Atheros' latest ROCm® mobile WLAN solutions continue to expand the company's portfolio of standalone and combination (both multi-chip and monolithic) products that provide best-in-class Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS features for a wide range of portable CE products. Atheros continues to push the boundaries of wireless performance, while eliminating the power and cost barriers that have traditionally prohibited such advanced features in mainstream devices.

Key Facts:

    * AR6004: Dual-band, 2-stream 802.11n solution designed with mobile devices in mind
          o The Atheros AR6004 brings XSPAN performance to mobile devices, which provides consumers with the same wireless experience at home, at work, or on-the-go. It delivers up to 170 Mbps of actual wireless throughput, enabling flawless media streaming and file sharing on any Wi-Fi device.

          o With more Wi-Fi devices crowding the 2.4 GHz band, consumers can leverage the 5 GHz band for media applications requiring relatively interference-free bandwidth. The AR6004 offers dual-band capabilities and 40 MHz transmissions that enable even the smallest devices to support high data-rate applications.

          o Since many mobile operators rely on Wi-Fi to offload data and media traffic from the cellular network, it is important for consumers to maintain high-quality wireless links wherever they are. The AR6004 offers Atheros' Signal-Sustain Technology™ (SST), a unique set of 802.11n features that boost Wi-Fi signals across the entire wireless link -- improving wireless rate-over-range by an average of 50 percent versus conventional 2-stream products.

          o The AR6004 unleashes true 802.11n performance without compromising the size or battery life of mobile designs. It offers unparalleled silicon integration, with an on-chip power management unit, dual-band low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and power amplifiers to reduce the complexity of mobile designs with the most advanced wireless features.

    * AR6005: The world's smallest 1-stream, single-band 802.11n solution for mobile devices
          o As the smallest, most energy efficient and cost-effective mobile 802.11n solution, the AR6005 will continue to drive Wi-Fi into more feature phones and entry-level handsets. According to research from iSuppli, these two segments will represent 60 percent of the 1.4 billion mobile phones sold in 2011.

          o Measuring 12 mm2, the AR6005's chip-scale package can be easily implemented in the thinnest mobile devices. Its highly-integrated design supports Chip on Board (COB) implementation and eliminates the need for external components, which greatly reduces the bill-of-material (BOM) cost for manufacturers.
          o Despite its tiny size, the AR6005 provides robust wireless performance. Delivering up to 48 Mbps of actual throughput, it can support demanding multimedia applications on today's mobile phones and portable CE products.

          o Leveraging Atheros' low-power ROCm architecture, the AR6005 is the industry's most energy-efficient 802.11n solution on the market. This enables mobile users to take advantage of Wi-Fi features with near-zero impact on battery life.

    * The AR6004 and AR6005 leverage Atheros' proven ROCm software to streamline the design of next-generation devices and enhance the wireless experience for mobile consumers. Atheros' software platform includes:
          o Atheros DirectConnect™ peer-to-peer technology -- enables simple and convenient connections between Wi-Fi devices without an access point or broadband connection;
          o Atheros AP Mode -- turns a cellular handset into a mobile hotspot by sharing its 3G Internet connection with other devices over the Wi-Fi radio;
          o Atheros Universal Wireless Cooperation™ -- minimizes interference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios to ensure flawless performance of both features.

    * For customers launching a variety of connected products with unique capabilities and price points, Atheros offers a flexible platform that supports a full range of mobile design options, including:
          o SDIO and USB high-speed interconnect (HSIC) interfaces;
          o Windows®, Android™ and other Linux® operating systems, and Real-time Operating Systems (RTOS) like ThreadX®; and
          o Single- or dual-antenna configurations.

    * The AR6004 is expected to sample in Q2 2011 and ship in volume production by early 2012. The AR6005 is expected to sample this quarter and ship in volume production by the end of 2011.

    * Atheros is redefining wireless connectivity in a variety of devices for today's digital lifestyle. In addition to the AR6004 and AR6005, Atheros has introduced the first monolithic Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo solution for tablets, notebooks and netbooks. Atheros is demonstrating its mobile connectivity solutions this week at the 2011 Mobile World Congress.