SOURCE: Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications, Inc.

February 14, 2011 03:02 ET

Atheros Raises the Standard for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Combo Solutions

Extends Most Popular Computing Portfolio With World's First Monolithic Combo of 2-Stream, Dual-Band 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 for Tablets, Notebooks and Netbooks

BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - February 14, 2011) - Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today extended its family of combination solutions that provide best-in-class Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity for tablets, notebooks and netbooks. Atheros is introducing the XSPAN® AR9462 -- the world's first combo solution that integrates high-performance 2-stream, dual-band 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 technologies onto a single silicon die.

Computers and mobile phones are converging into new devices -- like tablets -- that are used to create and consume media content, as well as stay connected to the Web and social media applications. Consumers want a consistent and flawless experience across all of their devices, which requires the same high-performance wireless technologies on a variety of platforms. By combining its best-in-class Wi-Fi and Bluetooth into a smaller and more cost effective solution, Atheros is enabling manufacturers to greatly expand the functionality of these converged devices, while improving their size, cost, and battery life.

Key Facts:

  • As Wi-Fi and Bluetooth become must-have features in tablets and computers, Atheros offers a variety of solutions that combine both technologies into multi-chip or single-chip products. Integrating multiple wireless technologies into a system-on-a-chip (SoC) not only provides Atheros customers with greater design flexibility, but can actually improve the wireless experience for consumers.

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi capabilities are essential for devices that are used for a mix of Internet, data, media and data offloading applications. The AR9462 offers robust wireless bandwidth in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and uses Atheros' Signal-Sustain Technology™ (SST) to boost signals across the entire Wi-Fi link. This enables consumers to maintain reliable Internet connections on the 2.4 GHz band, while using wider (40 MHz) transmission channels in the 5 GHz band to create, consume and share digital media content -- which requires more reliable bandwidth and less interference.

  • The AR9462 also offers DirectConnect™ technology, Atheros' Wi-Fi Direct CERTIFIED feature that enables instant peer-to-peer connections without a router or broadband access. This provides PC users with a fast and easy way to transmit HD video or synchronize files between Wi-Fi devices.

  • All of Atheros' latest combination solutions support the new Bluetooth 4.0 specification, which adds low-energy features to one of the industry's most prolific wireless technologies. Bluetooth 4.0 not only enables high-speed 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."

  • To ensure a better wireless experience, the AR9462 uses Atheros Universal Wireless Cooperation™ technology to minimize interference between the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. This results in faster Web surfing and flawless media streaming on the WLAN link, and glitch-free use of Bluetooth mice and keyboards and headsets -- even when using both wireless radios at the same time. 

  • For Atheros customers adding multiple wireless features to their designs, the AR9462 can reduce manufacturing costs by up to 45 percent, compared to solutions that use separate WLAN and Bluetooth chips. To enable a lower bill-of-materials, Atheros' highly-integrated design shares components between the WLAN and Bluetooth systems, and completely eliminates the need for external power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), and other components. 

  • The Atheros AR9462 supports the most popular design options for today's computing platforms, including:

    • ARM® or x86 processors
    • PCIe interface for WLAN and USB interface for Bluetooth
    • Windows®, Android™ and other Linux® and emerging operating systems
  • Atheros plans to sample the AR9462 to customers in Q1, 2011. It will offer single-band and dual-band reference designs (WB222 and WB221, respectively) to provide manufacturers with additional flexibility for their next-generation designs.

Supporting Quotes:
Craig Mathias, principal analyst at Farpoint Group, a wireless and mobile advisory firm
"As CE form factors converge and applications evolve, the benefits of combined Wi-Fi/Bluetooth products apply to a wider array of devices. But until now, the combo market has been limited to 1-stream 11n devices. Atheros has upped the ante with 2-stream 11n technology, proving that manufacturers don't have to compromise performance to get the other advantages of combo solutions."

Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of Atheros' Consumer Business Unit
"Atheros is redefining the concept of wireless connectivity for a variety of devices, and inspiring our customers to expand their products' capabilities to keep pace with today's digital consumers. In addition to our innovative combo solution for tablets and notebooks, our new AR6004 and AR6005 solutions are raising the bar for stand-alone Wi-Fi products in mobile phones and portable CE devices. As a result, Atheros can serve a greater portion of the computing and CE markets with a world-class portfolio."

Additional Resources:

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, Direct Connect, XSPAN, Signal-Sustain Technology and Universal Wireless Cooperation 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 market and technological trends, and the features, benefits, performance and expected availability of the AR9462, 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, 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.

Contact Information