Qualcomm Atheros Switches Aimed at Small Businesses

The platform offers a series of user-friendly, secure features and an integrated, high-performance CPU.

Qualcomm Atheros, a subsidiary of networking and communications specialist Qualcomm, announced the release of the QCA871x series of high port-count Gigabit Ethernet switch solutions aimed at small and midsize businesses along with the QCA851x series of high port-count wired solutions, both designed to enable automated, end-to-end switch and access point solutions for cloud management.

The QCA871x/QCA851x switch series offers rich managed Layer 2/Layer 3 (L2/L3) features and integrates wireless controller functions into the switch silicon, enabling the solution to process and forward both wired Ethernet 802.3 and Wi-Fi 802.11 packets simultaneously at wire speed.

The platforms also implement a series of user-friendly, secure features in addition to the native denial-of-service (DOS) prevention technologies and multi-stage access control list (ACL) engine. The QCA871x and QCA851x offer a multi-level isolation accelerator, allowing users to create features such as port isolation and private virtual local area networks (VLANs) with a select and click matrix.

In addition, the complete Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points Protocol (CAPWAP) support in the QCA871x allows remote access point control and management to enhance network performance and lower maintenance costs, while the appliance also eliminates the need for an external multi-core central processing unit (CPU) employed in traditional WiFi Access Controller architectures, replacing it with an integrated, high-performance CPU.

The high port-count Gigabit Ethernet switch series is now sampling to customers and is expected to ship in volume beginning in the first quarter of 2013, according to a company release. With its current portfolio of high-volume, single-port LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), physical layer transceiver (PHY), and small office home office (SOHO) switch solutions, Qualcomm Atheros has shipped more than 100 million Ethernet chips over the past 12 months, a company release noted.

"Qualcomm Atheros' R&D and engineering teams worldwide have proven experience in multiple Ethernet segments," Qualcomm Atheros general manager and vice president of the Ethernet group for the infrastructure business unit George Chu said in a statement. "With the convergence of wired and wireless networks, this is the ideal time for us to enter the high port switching market and to accelerate the momentum of unified wired and wireless networks."

Earlier this month the company introduced an ultra-low power near field communication (NFC) solution that will enable mobile devices with contactless communications and data exchange, including next-generation mobile payments, the QCA1990. The QCA1990 offers platform-level integration with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and next-generation processors and modems to enable NFC on Qualcomm’s smartphones and tablet manufacturing partners.

The QCA1990 also offers a range of secure element options, both embedded and SIM-based, while supporting multiple secure elements concurrently, including support for a dual-SIM configuration, and is pre-tested to meet the requirements from payment schemes, mobile operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally. The QCA1990 will sample to customers starting in the first quarter of 2013, with commercial designs with leading OEMs expected in the third quarter of 2013, according to a company release.