SOURCE: Atheros

Atheros

February 10, 2011 17:03 ET

Atheros Paves the Way for Wi-Fi Connectivity in More Mobile Devices With Two Groundbreaking Solutions

2-Stream Mobile 802.11n Solution Raises the Performance Bar for Smartphones and Tablets, World's Smallest 1-Stream 802.11n Solution Broadens the Possibilities for Wi-Fi in Feature Phones and Other Mainstream Devices

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), today ushered in a new era of mobile connectivity with two new Wi-Fi® solutions for cellular phones, tablets, eReaders, gaming devices and other handheld consumer electronic (CE) products. Atheros is raising the performance bar with a 2-stream mobile 802.11n solution for devices that need the higher speed of XSPAN® Wi-Fi capabilities for media applications. Atheros is also delivering the world's smallest and most energy efficient 1-stream 802.11n solution, which brings the performance and enhanced software features of Align® Wi-Fi to even the sleekest feature phones.

Atheros' latest ROCm® mobile WLAN solutions continue to expand the company's portfolio of standalone and combination (both multi-chip and monolithic) products that provide best-in-class Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS features for a wide range of portable CE products. Atheros continues to push the boundaries of wireless performance, while eliminating the power and cost barriers that have traditionally prohibited such advanced features in mainstream devices.

Key Facts:

  • AR6004: Dual-band, 2-stream 802.11n solution designed with mobile devices in mind
    • The Atheros AR6004 brings XSPAN performance to mobile devices, which provides consumers with the same wireless experience at home, at work, or on-the-go. It delivers up to 170 Mbps of actual wireless throughput, enabling flawless media streaming and file sharing on any Wi-Fi device.

    • With more Wi-Fi devices crowding the 2.4 GHz band, consumers can leverage the 5 GHz band for media applications requiring relatively interference-free bandwidth. The AR6004 offers dual-band capabilities and 40 MHz transmissions that enable even the smallest devices to support high data-rate applications.

    • Since many mobile operators rely on Wi-Fi to offload data and media traffic from the cellular network, it is important for consumers to maintain high-quality wireless links wherever they are. The AR6004 offers Atheros' Signal-Sustain Technology™ (SST), a unique set of 802.11n features that boost Wi-Fi signals across the entire wireless link -- improving wireless rate-over-range by an average of 50 percent versus conventional 2-stream products.

    • The AR6004 unleashes true 802.11n performance without compromising the size or battery life of mobile designs. It offers unparalleled silicon integration, with an on-chip power management unit, dual-band low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and power amplifiers to reduce the complexity of mobile designs with the most advanced wireless features.

  • AR6005: The world's smallest 1-stream, single-band 802.11n solution for mobile devices
    • As the smallest, most energy efficient and cost-effective mobile 802.11n solution, the AR6005 will continue to drive Wi-Fi into more feature phones and entry-level handsets. According to research from iSuppli, these two segments will represent 60 percent of the 1.4 billion mobile phones sold in 2011.

    • Measuring 12 mm2, the AR6005's chip-scale package can be easily implemented in the thinnest mobile devices. Its highly-integrated design supports Chip on Board (COB) implementation and eliminates the need for external components, which greatly reduces the bill-of-material (BOM) cost for manufacturers.
       
    • Despite its tiny size, the AR6005 provides robust wireless performance. Delivering up to 48 Mbps of actual throughput, it can support demanding multimedia applications on today's mobile phones and portable CE products.

    • Leveraging Atheros' low-power ROCm architecture, the AR6005 is the industry's most energy-efficient 802.11n solution on the market. This enables mobile users to take advantage of Wi-Fi features with near-zero impact on battery life.

  • The AR6004 and AR6005 leverage Atheros' proven ROCm software to streamline the design of next-generation devices and enhance the wireless experience for mobile consumers. Atheros' software platform includes:
    • Atheros DirectConnect™ peer-to-peer technology -- enables simple and convenient connections between Wi-Fi devices without an access point or broadband connection;
    • Atheros AP Mode -- turns a cellular handset into a mobile hotspot by sharing its 3G Internet connection with other devices over the Wi-Fi radio;
    • Atheros Universal Wireless Cooperation™ -- minimizes interference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios to ensure flawless performance of both features.

  • For customers launching a variety of connected products with unique capabilities and price points, Atheros offers a flexible platform that supports a full range of mobile design options, including:
    • SDIO and USB high-speed interconnect (HSIC) interfaces;
    • Windows®, Android™ and other Linux® operating systems, and Real-time Operating Systems (RTOS) like ThreadX®; and
    • Single- or dual-antenna configurations.

  • The AR6004 is expected to sample in Q2 2011 and ship in volume production by early 2012. The AR6005 is expected to sample this quarter and ship in volume production by the end of 2011.

  • Atheros is redefining wireless connectivity in a variety of devices for today's digital lifestyle. In addition to the AR6004 and AR6005, Atheros has introduced the first monolithic Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo solution for tablets, notebooks and netbooks. Atheros is demonstrating its mobile connectivity solutions this week at the 2011 Mobile World Congress.

Supporting Quotes:
Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of Atheros' consumer products
"Atheros' vision is to pave the way for emerging mobile segments that are thirsty for connectivity. We are making this vision a reality by resetting the bar with groundbreaking performance for mid- to high-end devices, and by creating new capabilities for the lower end segments -- which compels our customers to add Wi-Fi with the right performance level at the right cost point."

Philip Solis, mobile networks research director at ABI Research
"The market for mobile connectivity is changing in response to consumer demand for phones and other mobile devices with more media and data capabilities. Wi-Fi is already a standard feature in smartphones, and will soon gain broader adoption in feature phones as well. By delivering Wi-Fi solutions that address the performance, size and cost requirements of multiple segments, Atheros is taking another major step in expanding its presence across the entire mobile market."

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About Atheros
Atheros Communications delivers innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Its mission is to invent technologies that connect and empower people in ways that are elegant and accessible to all. Building upon its broad expertise in RF and mixed signal semiconductor design, Atheros' portfolio includes a wide variety of connectivity solutions that are used by many of the world's leading networking equipment, computing and consumer device manufacturers. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Atheros has a significant and growing presence in Asia and Europe to serve its global customer base. For more information, visit www.atheros.com.

Atheros, the Atheros logo, Align, DirectConnect, ROCm, Signal-Sustain Technology, Atheros Universal Wireless Cooperation, and XSPAN are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including the features, benefits and performance of Atheros' mobile Wi-Fi products, the expected sample and ship dates of the AR6004 and AR6005, the anticipated growth in demand for mobile devices incorporating Wi-Fi, and estimates regarding the sale of mobile devices in 2011, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, difficulties in the development of new and enhanced products, general economic conditions, the effects of competition and technological change, and the risks detailed in Atheros' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other reports filed with the SEC by Atheros from time to time. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Atheros disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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