You can never have enough memory or, in wireless applications, enough data speed. Chip vendors work constantly to boost speed to cover video streaming, gaming, and other demanding applications. The newest answer from Redpine Signals is the Maxi-Fi BEAM450 suite of highly integrated ICs that conform to the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard.
The Maxi-Fi BEAM450 is the first multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) chipset to support “software configurable simultaneous dual-band,” according to the company. This patent-pending feature enables the system integrators to reconfigure the MIMO chipset on the fly from a 3-Spatial Stream 450-Mbit/s 3x3 system (working in the 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz ISM band) into a simultaneous 150- to 300-Mbit/s dual-band system.
Simultaneous dual-band enables quality of service (QoS) provisioning for demanding video applications in crowded wireless environments—at no cost, and with no power overhead. The Maxi-Fi products also include an RS9330 802.11n baseband chip interfacing to either the RS8330 dual-band MIMO radio chip or the RS8331 dual-band MIMO radio chip with built-in high-power amplifiers (see the figure). Further, the Maxi-Fi BEAM450 chipsets extend and complement the company’s ultra-low-power 802.11n Lite-Fi device family.
Redpine additionally provides TURBO900 and TURBO1350 reference designs. By utilizing two or three RS9330 chips (respectively), these designs provide physical-layer (PHY) throughputs of 900 Mbits/s and 1.35 Gbits/s on a “single” PCI Express host interface to meet the performance requirements of today’s most demanding applications.
The company integrates a high-performance media access controller (MAC), baseband processor, analog front end, crystal oscillator, calibration EEPROM, balun, dual-band RF transceiver, and dual-band high-power amplifiers (RS8331 only) in standard CMOS processes. This makes the chipset a cost-effective solution for targeting high-throughput and high-QoS wireless applications such as HD video streaming, storage devices, wireless routers, broadband access modems, HDTV sets, access points, and set-top boxes.
The Maxi-Fi BEAM450 also maintains more than 300 Mbits/s of transmission control protocol (TCP) data throughput on various host platforms and runs on the 802.11n MAC on a powerful system-on-a-chip (SoC) based on Redpine’s proprietary four-threaded processor (ThreadArch) with very low host overhead.
Redpine’s OneBox software framework with DirectLINQ accompanies the Maxi-Fi BEAM450 chipset. OneBox supports Access Point, Station, and Wi-Fi Direct functionality on a variety of host platforms and operating systems, including Linux and Windows. Redpine also offers form-factor PCI Express and USB 2.0 reference designs and software for manufacture testing and diagnostics, minimizing effort and time-to-market in the building of complete systems.
The Maxi-Fi BEAM450 chipsets will be sampling in the third quarter of 2011, with volume production scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.