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Agere, Infineon pool WLAN development

Geeing up for 802.11a/g

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Wireless LAN specialist Agere and chip maker Infineon are to jointly develop high-speed 802.11a/g wireless LAN technology.

The two companies will pool expertise in developing WLAN chipsets, software and reference designs, and aim to have product ready for sampling by the second quarter of next year.

Agere will provide its WLAN system architecture, multimode media access controller (MAC) and driver software to the joint solution, while Infineon will contribute its dual-band radio technology and wide-band power amplifier chips. Agere and Infineon will co-develop the physical layer (PHY) component for the reference designs, combining intellectual property and experience from each company. The companies will market next-gen WLAN kit independently.

According to IDC, the market for "LAN chips is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 30 percent from $331 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion by 2006.

Current applications are supported by 802.11b technology (which gives a theoretical maximum throughput of 11Mbps) but users are starting to migrate towards higher speed 802.11a (maximum 54Mbps) and 802.11g (maximum 22Mbps) technologies. Agere and Infineon aim to capitalise on this evolution, selling components that will be used in wireless LAN products targeted at enterprise networking, home and multimedia entertainment applications. ®

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