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January 22, 2006

Chipmakers claim pending WiFi spec compliance

Ink on the new draft WiFi spec has barely dried, but two vendors separately claim to have the first chipsets that comply with the pending standard.

By CBR Staff Writer

A draft specification of the next-generation WiFi standard, 802.11n, was passed by the IEEE Task Group N last Thursday. The technology promises to be Ethernet fast and offer a slew of improvements over the existing 802.11g standard.

The same day, Broadcom Corp announced the availability of its new line of wireless LAN chipsets, dubbed Intensi-fi, which it said was the first to comply with the 802.11n draft spec.

Intensi-fi technology incorporates all mandatory elements of the IEEE 802.11n draft specification and is designed to be software upgradeable once the standard is finalized, according to a company statement.

Broadcom did not predict when Intensi-fi run products would hit the market, but said it was currently sampling the chipsets.

On Friday, however, Marvell said its 88W836X line, first announced in October, complies 100% with the draft spec and its customers may launch products this quarter, according to a statement. Marvell’s key customers have been working with the chipsets for several months, Marvell said.

Marvell is thrilled that this specification enables our customers to be the first to ship IEEE 802.11n draft compliant WLAN products to the market, said Weili Dai, general manager of Marvell’s communications and consumer business group, in a statement.

Santa Clara, California-based Marvell and Irvine, California-based Broadcom said they had developed reference designs for their chipsets to help their OEM customers speed product development.

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The 802.11n standard may be ratified later this year.

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