Broadcoms Test Results

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-11-20 Print this article Print

According to Broadcom, when an access point and client are communicating in SuperG mode, the wireless traffic drowns out or interferes with any other 2.4GHz wireless traffic, including other Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth mice and keyboards, wireless phones, baby monitors and so on. To prove the point, Broadcom streamed a DivX version of "The Matrix," encoded at 2Mbps, between a Broadcom-based, 802.11g enabled PC and Gateways Connected DVD Player. The two devices were set to communicate on Channel 1.
Using an oscilloscope, I could plainly see the traffic occurring in the lower third of the 2.4GHz band.
Broadcom then started blasting as much traffic as possible between an Atheros-based hub and notebook, configured for Super G, sitting right next to the Broadcom-based DVD Player and access point. After a few seconds, the movie pixelated and stopped playing. On the oscilloscope, it was easy to see that the SuperG devices were taking up quite a bit of the 2.4GHz band—enough to bleed into the areas reserved for channels 1 and 11. "An 802.11g jammer", said David Cohen, senior product marketing manager at Broadcom, referring to the Atheros products. Although all the wireless products were sitting within a foot of each other, Broadcoms tests show a similar effect at up to 30 feet away—which could spell trouble for anyone living next door to unsuspecting D-Link and Netgear customers opting for the fastest speeds. And thats a problem, according to Cohen, who sees potential for big problems. He wants a warning label, at least, slapped on D-Link and Netgears boxes. "Consumers should understand that when you buy a technology, it interferes with other wireless products." "I think thats something we should seriously consider," responded Bradley Morse, senior vice president for Marketing for D-Link, "but we have to do more thorough testing." Next page: What D-Link found in its tests.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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