Broadcom touts lower power draw of 802.11n WLAN chip

New 11n chip for access points touted to lower power demands, price tags

Another innovation is the way Broadcom supports dynamic frequency selection (DFS) in nine additional 5GHz channels that sometimes are used by military and weather radars. The Federal Communications Commission allows Wi-Fi products to use these channels only if the radios can sense the presence of the radar signals and back off from those occupied channels. By supporting DFS, the access point is able to select from 24 instead of 15 channels for a transmission. In some of the DFS channels, radios can run at 1 watt, which is 250 to 500 milliwatts higher than allowed in the standard 5GHz channels. The higher wattage "can significantly boost range," says Rahul Patel, senior director for Broadcom's WLAN group.

Patel says the new chip is the only FCC-certified device that can run each of the nine DFS channels either in the standard 20MHz width or, by bonding two channels together, in 40MHz. Channel bonding is a key element in achieving the high 11n data rates.

Broadcom hopes to improve its WLAN position with regard to arch rival Atheros Communications by combining the new 11n chip and its attendant software stack with companion silicon and software for LAN access switches. The goal is a switch that can handle both wired and wireless clients automatically, without the need for a separate, specialized WLAN switch (often called a controller). Atheros 11n silicon is being used in several WLAN-access-point products being announced at Interop.

This "unified switch" silicon and software have been available for about 2 years from Broadcom, and several vendors are in production with it, says Michael Powell, senior product line manager for Broadcom's enterprise switching group. None of those customers have been announced, he says.

The new Broadcom chip is available in sample quantities, with production quantities expected in during the second calendar quarter of 2008. Pricing was not disclosed, but Broadcom's Powell says it will be "very competitive" with its rivals.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?