Freescale, Atheros Collaborate on WiFi Access Points

Atheros and Freescale team up to offer cost-conscious businesses a reference design for high-performance WiFi access points, which integrates Freescale's QorIQ P1020 system-on-chip (SoC) and Atheros' three-stream XSPAN chip set.

Freescale Semiconductor, a provider of embedded processors for communications, consumer access, and intelligent industrial and aerospace applications, and Atheros Communications, a developer of wired and wireless communication semiconductors, announced a collaboration on a production-ready reference design for high-performance WiFi access points for enterprise offices and SMBs. Freescale and Atheros are showcasing the reference design at the Computex convention in Taiwan.
The reference design combines Freescale's energy-efficient QorIQ P1020 processor and Atheros' three-stream 802.11n chip set to speed time to market and help deliver optimal WLAN performance. The P1020EWLAN reference design is available now from Freescale Semiconductor, the company announced. The collaboration is intended to reduce design complexity, lower bill of material costs and deliver high-performance solutions to OEM customers building WiFi access points and other 802.11n solutions.
Built on 45-nm process technology, Freescale's QorIQ communications processors offer a blend of multicore performance and high throughput within constrained power budgets. The P1020 communications processor delivers 800MHz per core clock frequencies, and Freescale's P1020 supports multiple high-speed serial interconnects such as SGMII and PCI Express, enabling the deployment of 802.11n chip sets with optimal module interfaces. The P1020 system-on-chip (SoC) also supports the implementation of Power over Ethernet (POE) designs in WiFi access points.
"Working closely with Atheros, a leading developer of WLAN and other connectivity semiconductor solutions, underscores Freescale's leadership in a broad array of wireless communications equipment markets," said Preet Virk, director of strategy for Freescale's networking processor division. "Our joint solution gives OEMs an industry-leading combination of dual-core performance and low-power operation in a reference design that is available today."
The solution leverages the performance of Freescale's QorIQ P1020 SoC and Atheros' three-stream XSPAN chip set with Signal-Sustain Technology (SST3). The companies said dual-band, dual-concurrent products based on this combination can deliver up to 600M bps of actual throughput and greater wireless coverage to support a range of enterprise and SMB applications that result in improved productivity levels and increased employee mobility.
Freescale's QorIQ P1 series includes the P1020 and P1011 communications processors. The series provides single- and dual-core solutions for the 533MHz to 800MHz performance range, along with advanced security and a set of interfaces all delivered on 45nm process technology for a low power implementation. Freescale said the P1 platform series is well-suited for multiservice gateways, routers, Ethernet switch controllers, wireless LAN access points and general-purpose embedded processor applications with tight thermal constraints.
"Many enterprise customers are looking to upgrade their WLAN infrastructure with three-stream 11n products that support more users and more demanding applications," said Tony Hsu, senior director of marketing for Atheros' networking business unit. "Combining our XSPAN solutions with Freescale's P1020 processor enables 3x3 dual-band dual-concurrent capabilities within stringent power budgets. As a result, OEMs can quickly build products that meet the performance and reliability requirements of today's enterprise networks."