The chip maker introduces a silicon and software package it says consumes half the power of competing 802.11n chip sets.
Chip maker Broadcom expanded its switching portfolio April 22 to include
enterprise-class gear for 802.11n Wi-Fi networks. The system can be used for
stand-alone access managed by a wireless switch or controller running
Broadcom's unified wireless switching software.
Broadcom promises that the integrated platform-combining the company's silicon
and software-will provide manufacturers with cost savings and time-to-market
advantages. The system eliminates the need for third-party software or in-house
development, which can shave months off a manufacturer's development time.
"By marrying ... WLAN [wireless LAN]
solutions with proven switch hardware and software, Broadcom is well-positioned
to pursue the $2.3 billion enterprise wireless market with an end-to-end
solution," Michael Hurlston, vice president and general manager of
Broadcom's business WLAN systems, said in a statement.
According to Broadcom, the system comprises the company's BCM4342
single-chip 802.11n solution and unified access point software. The platform
provides centralized RF (radio frequency) management, mobility, and wireless threat
detection and prevention across the entire network.
"Mobility in the corporate work environment is a necessity and today's
mobile work force has come to expect wireless connectivity anywhere and at any
time," said Martin Lund, Broadcom vice president and general manager of
Click here to read about Broadcom's "3G phone on a chip."
Compared with the consumer market, Lund
said, enterprise customers demand more reliable, secure and manageable
networks. "Given Broadcom's switching and WLAN expertise, combined with
our networking software, our platform can meet these demands and unleash the
power of 802.11n in business networks," he said.
Broadcom claims its BCM4342 solution is
the first to successfully address the power consumption issues that have
traditionally slowed the rollout of enterprise 802.11n. While dual-band access
points offer greater bandwidth and capacity than previous 802.11 systems,
simultaneous operation of both radios usually exceeds the power limits of
equipment used in nearly all large enterprise networks.
To deal with the power issues, IT managers use two POE (power over Ethernet)
ports for each access point or they upgrade the entire network to support the
new POE+ standard.
Broadcom claims the BCM4342
consumes half the power of competing 802.11n chip sets, allowing access points
to operate simultaneously on two different bands while being powered by an
existing POE infrastructure.