Freescale and Atheros collaborate on high-performance solutions for enterprise Wi-Fi access points

Reference design combines Freescale’s energy-efficient QorIQ P1020 processor and Atheros’ 3-stream 802.11n chipset to speed time to market and deliver optimal WLAN performance

TAIPEI, Taiwan (COMPUTEX 2010) – June 1, 2010 – Freescale Semiconductor, a leader in embedded processors for communications, consumer access and intelligent industrial and aerospace applications, and Atheros Communications, a leading developer of wired and wireless communication semiconductors, have collaborated on a production-ready reference design for high-performance and cost-effective Wi-Fi access points for enterprise offices and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB).

The collaboration is intended to reduce design complexity, lower bill of material costs and deliver high performance solutions to OEM customers building Wi-Fi access points and other 802.11n solutions. The reference design dissipates minimal power at high rates of performance, allowing for the development of multiple SKUs to address a wide range of system configuration requirements.

The solution leverages the industry leading performance of Freescale’s QorIQ P1020 system-on-chip (SoC) and Atheros’ 3-stream XSPAN® chipset with Signal-Sustain Technology (SST3™) to accelerate time to market for 802.11n access points capable of servicing corporate network environments. Dual-band, dual-concurrent products based on this combination can deliver up to 600Mbps of actual throughput and greater wireless coverage to support a wide range of demanding enterprise and SMB applications that boost productivity and increase employee mobility.

Freescale and Atheros are showcasing the reference design at the Freescale Taipei office [Address: 6F, Unit 6, 66 San-Chong Road, Taipei 11560,Taiwan,ROC (Nangang Software Park)

“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.”

Built on 45-nm process technology, Freescale’s QorIQ communications processors offer an ideal blend of multicore performance and high throughput within extremely constrained power budgets. The P1020 communications processor delivers 800MHz per core clock frequencies, resulting in efficient and fast data relays to wireless access points. In addition, Freescale’s P1020 supports multiple high-speed serial interconnects such as SGMII and PCI Express®, enabling the deployment of 802.11n chipsets with optimal module interfaces. The power efficient P1020 SoC also supports the implementation of Power over Ethernet (POE) designs in high performance Wi-Fi access points without sacrificing performance.

“Many enterprise customers are looking to upgrade their WLAN infrastructure with 3-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 3×3 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.”

About QorIQ P1 platform series

Freescale’s QorIQ P1 series includes the P1020 and P1011 communications processors, offering the value of extensive integration and extreme energy efficiency for a wide variety of applications in the networking, telecom, aerospace, defense and industrial markets. The series provides single and dual core solutions for the 533 MHz to 800 MHz performance range, along with advanced security and a rich set of interfaces – all delivered on 45nm process technology for a low power implementation. The P1 platform series is perfectly suited for multiservice gateways, routers, Ethernet switch controllers, wireless LAN access points and general-purpose embedded processor applications with tight thermal constraints.


The P1020EWLAN reference design is available now from Freescale Semiconductor. For pricing and more information, please contact your local Freescale sales office.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.

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