SOURCE: Atheros

November 04, 2009 08:00 ET

Atheros Enhances Its ETHOS Portfolio With the Industry's Most Energy-Efficient and Compact Ethernet Controllers

New AR8151 Gigabit Controller Delivers Industry Leading Power and Complies With the New 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet Draft Standard

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - November 4, 2009) - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced the industry's most power-efficient and smallest Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Fast Ethernet controllers for PC applications, the AR8151 and AR8152. These newest additions to the Atheros ETHOS™ portfolio provide PC customers with Ethernet solutions expressly designed to reduce overall system energy consumption, while exceeding the size and RBOM requirements for next-generation PCs. In fact, the Atheros AR8151 is the industry's smallest and greenest Gigabit Ethernet controller to comply with the new IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet draft specification.

Currently, eight of the top ten PC OEMs are shipping products featuring Atheros ETHOS technology. With the AR8151, Atheros intends to build on this momentum in the Ethernet market by providing PC customers with a highly competitive solution that exceeds the most stringent power and size requirements for today's PCs, while delivering Gigabit performance. Built to enhance the user experience in consumer entertainment-class and SMB notebooks, and desktop PCs, the AR8151 readily supports simultaneous operation of data, voice and video applications in homes and offices. Atheros' Fast Ethernet controller, the AR8152, also brings ETHOS technology innovations to the expanding, value-class PC market, including netbook, notebook, nettop and desktop PC platforms.

Atheros Green ETHOS Technology Combined with 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet Compliance Deliver Unparalleled Power Savings

Power efficiency is the single most important performance consideration facing PC makers today. PC manufacturers want to meet the Energy Star 5.0 requirement for "plugged in" operation and also minimize battery drain in notebooks and netbooks to support extended mobile operation. To help customers address these demands, all Atheros GbE and Fast Ethernet controllers deliver the power advantages of Atheros Green ETHOS™ technology, which are achieved through a variety of innovative, proprietary techniques.

Maximizing power efficiency in plugged-in mode, the AR8151 complies with the IEEE 802.3az draft specification to consume less than 60mW in idle mode. By adhering to this standard, the AR8151 delivers more than 85 percent savings over non-compliant solutions. Atheros further increases the efficiency of plugged-in operation with its ETHOS Cable Diagnostic feature, which assesses Ethernet cable lengths and dynamically adjusts power consumption accordingly.

"The development of the Energy Efficient Ethernet standard is a significant step by the industry to minimize power consumption in networked devices," said Bob Wheeler, senior analyst for networking silicon from The Linley Group. "We are pleased to see the industry adopting these green technology initiatives and commend Atheros for implementing the IEEE 802.3az draft specification in its new ETHOS Gigabit Ethernet controller."

To enhance power consumption for mobile PC operation, Atheros has implemented its ETHOS Automatic Power Savings technique (APS), which provides substantial energy efficiencies when PCs are in standby/no-link mode by automatically turning off most of the chip's circuitry. With APS, the AR8151 consumes less than 10mW in the most common use scenario -- when a notebook is connected wirelessly with the Ethernet cable unplugged. These combined methods result in power efficiencies unmatched by any competitive solution.

Atheros' Leading Integration and Size Advantages

The AR8151 GbE and AR8152 Fast Ethernet solutions feature the highest levels of integration, resulting in the industry's smallest PCI Express controllers designed to meet the increasing requirements to deliver the most compact footprint and low BOM cost for PC platforms. Both employ a compact 40-pin QFN package measuring only 5mm x 5mm -- 30 percent smaller than competitive solutions. The AR8151 and AR8152 achieve industry-leading RBOM integration by including the switching and LDO regulator on chip, along with 256 bytes of embedded One Time Programmable (OTP) Memory, and by significantly reducing the number of resistors and capacitors.

"Atheros continues to lead the market by providing Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet controller solutions that trump competitive offerings in both power and size," said George Chu, vice president and general manager of the Ethernet Business Unit for Atheros. "We are pleased to offer our PC customers the very best in connectivity performance and power efficiency in plugged as well as unplugged mode -- from netbooks to high-end notebooks."

Product Availability

The AR8151 Gigabit Ethernet and AR8152 Fast Ethernet controllers are sampling now. For more information about the new generation of ETHOS solutions, please visit

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 personal computer, networking equipment and consumer device manufacturers. For more information, please visit or send an email to

Atheros, the Atheros logo, ETHOS and Atheros Green ETHOS are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.


Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including the features, benefits and performance of Atheros' Ethernet products, 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, 2008 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, 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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