Texas Instruments Inc. is rolling out a family of wireless LAN processors designed for hardware manufacturers planning to bring Wi-Fi beyond laptop computers and access points.
The TNETW1350 is a single-chip MAC (media access control) base-band processor that provides power conversion on the chip without external filters. The combination will reduce component count and materials by 50 percent compared with previous versions of TIs Wi-Fi silicon, said officials at TI, in Dallas.
The 1350 will work in conjunction with two new 802.11b/g radios, which TI unveiled last week. The TNETW3422/26, designed with low power consumption in mind, is meant to be embedded in mobile devices such as digital cameras. The TNETW3422/28, designed for residential gateways, extends the range of previous TI radios by up to two times, officials said.
The new components will be available to manufacturers next quarter. Officials declined to name licensees but said that the components will appear in a wide variety of devices.
"Were working with a number of OEMs on video adapters," said Lucy Huang, worldwide product line manager for the WLAN business unit at TI. "Were also in discussions with camera vendors and portable media vendors."
"The cost of Wi-Fi keeps coming down, and so does the power consumption," said Phil Redman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn.
TI is also working with service providers and device manufacturers on products that will allow phone calls to roam between cellular and Wi-Fi networks, officials said. InStat/MDR predicts that more than a million embedded Wi-Fi phones will ship this year.
One example is the F1000 Wi-Fi portable handset, which UTStarcom Inc. debuted in the United States at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Featuring a standby time of up to 80 hours and talk time of up to 4 hours, the F1000 has a better battery life than most existing Wi-Fi handsets, said officials at UTStarcom, in Alameda, Calif. It is meant to be used with public Wi-Fi hot spots, officials said. The phone will be available in the spring from broadband service provider Vonage Holdings Corp., of Edison, N.J.