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Ralink's Chipset Extends Wi-Fi Reach

Reporting a number of breakthroughs, the RT2800 assumes position as the industry’s longest-range, draft-802.11n Wi-Fi chipset. According to the company, the transceiver, and baseband/MAC duo doubles the range of wireless systems and thereby eliminates reception shadows, a common problem in home, office, and citywide networks. Long-range reception is the result of proprietary low-noise circuitry that pinpoints and recovers the 802.11n streams of data. Claiming another design win, a USB 2.0 version of the chipset employs a unique, patented antenna design that enables the industry’s smallest USB 2.0 footprint. This version is also said to be the first draft-802.11n package to offer its driver in optional onboard flash memory instead of a CD-ROM. Consisting of three receivers and two transmitters for a 300-Mb/s transfer rate, the transceiver supports both 5-GHz and 2.4-GHz bands. For compact designs, another version of the transceiver supports just the 2.4 GHz band while maintaining a 300 Mb/s transfer rate. Both transceivers operate from a single 3.3V supply and require a 40-MHz crystal for PLL control. The baseband/MAC chip contains six a/d converters that translate the three incoming receiver channels. Data undergoes further processing via integrated security and quality of service accelerators, prior to final transfer out of the chip through its DMA controller. The entire chipset operates from a 3.3V supply and consumes 480 mA during transmit and 400 mA during receive operations. The chipset is currently available with reference design and driver software for Windows Vista, as well as Linux source code for all of the company's drivers. Sampling now, prices start at $20 per chipset. RALINK TECHNOLOGY CORP., Cupertino, CA. (408) 725-8070.


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