Electronic Design

Highly Integrated Wi-Fi Router Hikes Performance

Announced at CES 2009, the BCM5356 single-chip Wi-Fi router solution from Broadcom Corp. delivers unprecedented levels of system integration while increasing routing performance by a factor of four, according to the company. As a result, the BCM5356 requires fewer external components than other solutions, enabling extremely small router designs and reducing total system cost by up to 33% versus previous designs.

The chip integrates all components needed to build a router, including an 802.11 media access controller and baseband circuit, a 2.4-GHz radio, a 333-MHz MIPS 74K CPU core, a 5-port Fast Ethernet switch and physical layer (PHY) device, and several options for system memory interfaces. The chip also includes the highly efficient CMOS power amplifier that has shipped in millions of devices and provides the same level of output power as solutions with external power amplifiers.

Leveraging elements of the new 802.11n standard, the BCM5356 achieves data rates of up to 150 Mbits/s over a single antenna (when connected to an 802.11n device). It features a high-performance processing core that delivers wireless throughput in excess of 100 Mbits/s, with spare cycles that allow the processor to perform other CPU-intensive applications.

The Wi-Fi router chip and turnkey BCM95356SSNR reference design are now available for sampling to early-access customers. Volume production is scheduled for Q1 of 2009.


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