Wireless Systems Design

Wi-Fi DSL Router Widens Home's Networking Reach

Once, wireless home networking was thought of merely as an add-on for broadband. Instead, it turned out that it actually improved the attractiveness of DSL. Wireless home networking has helped operators hold their customer base and even grow revenue through new subscribers. This success has placed increased pressure on DSL manufacturers, however. Interestingly, if they had one silicon provider for both systems' components, these manufacturers could enjoy increased design ease and faster time to market for new products.

An answer seems to have arrived from Texas Instruments, Inc. To continue its commitment to simple and affordable broadband home-networking technology, TI is offering the AR7W. As a complete Wi-Fi ADSL router platform, the AR7W combines TI's leading AR7 ADSL router-on-a-chip with its TNETW1130 802.11b/g solution. This combination allows ODMs to reduce the bill of materials (BOM) while offering extremely high performance.

The AR7W is a complete Wi-Fi ADSL router design. It supports the legacy ADSL as well as the new ADSL2 and ADSL2+ standards. As a result, consumers can achieve download speeds of up to 24 Mbps. With TI's 802.11g technology, AR7W-based CPEs allow consumers to take full advantage of high-bandwidth broadband content and applications from anywhere in the home.

The AR7W is actually an integrated hardware and software design. It improves the performance of ADSL routers through two enhancements, which were developed by TI. These enhancements include the TurboDSL packet accelerator technology and dynamic adaptive equalization (DAE).

The TurboDSL packet accelerator improves downstream performance. With multiple users and devices on a single home network, downstream performance can easily be affected. The net results are download delays and jitter in audio and video streams. By providing 300% faster packet acknowledgement over current ADSL router solutions, the TurboDSL conquers this problem. Every user on a home network can experience continuous high-speed connectivity. It doesn't matter if there are one or multiple users online at the same time. In addition, the TurboDSL enables the smooth transmission of streaming video. It also raises the response time for speed-sensitive applications, such as interactive gaming.

The AR7W's other unique function—dynamic adaptive equalization (DAE)—enables easier self-installs for consumers. At the same time, it increases the operators' service area. Essentially, DAE allows carriers to increase their revenues by expanding their service coverage area. They can even include areas in which DSL was previously unavailable. Furthermore, DAE can enable easy router self-installs to copper access lines, which contain bridge taps. Previously, such taps might have required one or more truck-rolls to get ADSL service to a consumer's home.

Early customer designs using the AR7W are already underway. General availability is expected this quarter.

Texas Instruments, Inc.
12500 TI Blvd., Dallas, TX 75243-4136; (800) 336-5236, www.ti.com.

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