SOURCE: Atheros

Atheros

December 13, 2010 08:00 ET

Atheros Delivers New Family of Bluetooth 4.0 Solutions That Expand the Possibilities for Wireless Computing and Mobile Devices

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) -  Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced two new Bluetooth® solutions for PCs and mobile devices, both of which have been qualified for the new Bluetooth v4.0 specification. The AR3002 is Atheros' new Bluetooth 4.0 system-on-chip (SoC) for mobile phones, tablets, smartbooks and other portable consumer electronics, and the AR3012 provides Bluetooth 4.0 features for notebooks, netbooks, desktops and all-in-one PCs.

By supporting classic, high speed and low energy Bluetooth technologies, Atheros' new chips not only enable robust wireless connections between legacy Bluetooth products, but can also operate with devices such as low-power sensors in wristwatches, home control systems and other devices that aren't traditionally "connected." These solutions provide customers with a flexible platform that meets the communication and battery requirements of a variety of applications.

Key Facts:

  • The new Bluetooth v4.0 specification adds low-energy features to one of the industry's most prolific wireless connectivity technologies. This will expand the possibilities for Bluetooth in health and fitness, home security and automation, smart grid and entertainment applications, which often use devices powered by button-cell batteries that must last for years.

  • Atheros was instrumental in the development of the high speed Bluetooth standard, and played an active role in shaping the new low energy specification. Its Bluetooth solutions have been designed into notebooks and netbooks from a majority of the top ten PC OEMs, and provide robust wireless features for a growing number of mobile devices on various platforms.

  • Continuing its commitment to open source software, Atheros leverages the GNU/Linux BlueZ architecture as the basis of its Bluetooth host stack, and has added key features to support the latest low-energy Bluetooth applications. Atheros is also working with the Bluetooth SIG to develop an open API that will streamline the development and deployment of low-energy applications.

  • Atheros also offers innovative coexistence technologies to improve the wireless experience for devices with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Its Universal Wireless Cooperation technology minimizes interference by facilitating greater cooperation between the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. This ensures glitch-free audio streaming and VoIP calls when using Bluetooth headsets and speakers, and faster Web downloads and flawless media streaming over Wi-Fi. 

  • Equipped with a configurable Class 1.5 power amplifier, Atheros' new Bluetooth 4.0 products enable manufacturers to customize output power (up to +10dBm) based on the unique characteristics of each device. For example, heart monitors may require lower output power to conserve battery life, while mobile phones can maximize Bluetooth performance by using higher output power.

  • To further enable Bluetooth adoption in high volume devices, Atheros continues to push the envelope of system integration. The company has integrated additional components and eliminated the need for external EEPROM memory in its Bluetooth 4.0 solutions, which can reduce a manufacturer's bill of material (BOM) costs by up to 30 percent versus competitive solutions.

  • Atheros' latest Bluetooth solutions also reduce power consumption to minimize battery drain in PCs and mobile devices. Since Bluetooth radios spend most of their time in idle mode, Atheros has cut the AR3012's USB suspend current to reduce total power consumption by up to 50 percent compared to other solutions. The AR3002 also utilizes advanced encoding/decoding features to cut power consumption by up to 20 percent for mobile devices.

  • The AR3002 and AR3012 Bluetooth solutions are now sampling, and are expected to be in volume production in 1Q 2011.

Supporting Quotes:
Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of Atheros' Consumer Business Unit
"By rounding out the capabilities of Bluetooth technology, the new 4.0 standard will enhance the market by expanding the applications for mobile and computing devices, as well as broadening its reach into a variety of consumer, medical and industrial devices. To capitalize on the technology's new possibilities, Atheros will continue to drive the industry toward open, efficient and cost-effective Bluetooth solutions for a variety of applications."

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About Atheros Communications, Inc.
Atheros Communications is a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Atheros combines its wireless and networking systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufactured on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is used by a broad base of leading customers, including networking equipment, computing and consumer device manufacturers. For more information, please visit http://www.atheros.com.

Atheros and the Atheros logo 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' products, anticipated Bluetooth market trends, Atheros' plans to extend Bluetooth into new applications, and the expected timing of volume production of the AR3002 and AR3012 Bluetooth solutions, 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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