Smaller, Low Power Wi-Fi Chips on the Way

Phillips Electronics and Broadcom have announced new semiconductor Wi-Fi 802.11b chips and solutions, suitable for use in mobile devices such as PDAs and mobile handsets. The new chips are much smaller and more power efficient than current Wi-Fi solutions on the market and enable WLAN connectivity without dramatically compromising battery life.

Philips' expertise in low-power mobile phone technology helped to create an 802.11b solution with an impressive total standby power consumption of 3 milliwatts (mW) for the complete solution, the lowest standby power available today. This low power performance was achieved through its advanced system architecture, integrated ARM7 controller with associated memories and intelligent power management hardware and software algorithms. In addition, the Philips solution places no load on the host processor, which allows WLAN to be integrated into mobile devices without compromising application performance and battery life.

Philips' new low-power WLAN solution is also the smallest form factor available today. It consists of a single RF System-in-Package (Philips' BGW100) and a single-chip baseband processor and MAC (Philips' SA2443). The entire solution, consisting of the ICs plus all required external components, consumes only 300 mm(2) of board space -- at least 50 percent smaller than other comparably equipped solutions. This aggressive form factor was achieved with an advanced RF System-in-Package (SiP) and an optimized baseband/MAC architecture utilizing on-chip memories and low-pin count host interfaces.

The Philips' two-chip solution requires fewer than 30 external components making it the most highly integrated solution on the market. The chipset architecture and packaging reduce the number of required components enabling quicker design cycles, lower risk, simplified manufacturing and an overall reduction in the bill of materials (BoM).

Philips' complete low-power 802.11b solution is expected to sample in the fourth quarter of 2003 with general availability planned in the first quarter of 2004. Suggested pricing for the chipset is planned at US $12.00 in 10,000 quantities.

Broadcom's AirForce One
Broadcom's AirForce One™ wireless LAN solutions are the size of a postage stamp and consume up to 97 percent less power than other Wi-Fi solutions on the market. The single-chip solution integrates a 2.4 GHz radio, power amplifier, IEEE 802.11b baseband processor, medium access controller (MAC), Tx/Rx and diversity switches and all other radio components onto a single silicon die. This unprecedented level of chip integration eliminates more than 100 discrete components and makes the one-chip module 87 percent smaller than traditional mini-PCI Wi-Fi solutions.

Broadcom's onechip solution also offers a comprehensive power management scheme to extend the battery life of small mobile devices. This power management approach consumes an average of 70-97% less power than existing solutions and leverages the benefits of extreme integration, innovative hardware design and Broadcom's new SuperStandby™ software. SuperStandby wakes the minimum amount of circuitry for the shortest possible period of time, allowing the one-chip module to consume up to 97 percent less power than the Intel Centrino wireless LAN solution in standby mode . Pocket-sized mobile devices spend a majority of their time in standby mode, and the power savings offered by the AirForce One chip solution can add several days of battery life to a Wi-Fi- enabled PDA.

AirForce One reference design products are currently shipping to Broadcom's early access partners. "The WLAN market is expected to experience strong growth with 33.3 million chipsets to be sold in 2003 to 94.4 million in 2007," said Allen Nogee, principal analyst with industry research firm In-Stat/MDR

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let's see them soon

Tech72 @ 9/9/2003 1:44:14 PM #
here's hope that these will reach the retial market

yeah first post ^^^

Tech72 @ 9/9/2003 1:49:43 PM #
I wonder if this would fit in an sd... it said postage stamp size....

first response to this post! Woot! ^^^
stephen007 @ 9/9/2003 2:44:49 PM #
I sure hope so.

hgoldner @ 9/9/2003 3:53:44 PM #
At last I'll be able to replace that chip the CIA implanted in me while I was sleeping with something smaller......
RE: finaly!!!
Tech72 @ 9/9/2003 5:19:42 PM #
hey if you replace it with an SDIO slot you could have
a memory backup.... :0

RE: yeah first post ^^^
pen_n_paper @ 9/11/2003 11:20:21 AM #
LOL! I pray it would be in a SD or MMC form...12 bucks? I want one!

If you don't understand this post please
click Ctrl+Alt+Delete for transalation - Your Handheld Headquarters

RE: yeah first post ^^^
malweth @ 11/25/2003 9:49:05 AM #
$12 is for the chipset... and that's only if you buy 10,000 of them.

As an example, Memory card company A could purchase a single lot of the Philips chipset for $120,000 ($12 a chip).

This could (hopefully) then be incorporated onto a SD card which requires power, memory, and other components to drive the chipset. I'm not sure what the current 802.11b chips run, but the SDIO card is about $100. You can figure that'll be about the price for the other chipsets too.

I just want the 802.11b SDIO with PALM drivers to come out... they said November, and Nov is almost done!



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