Feeds

Broadcom blames Atheros for bad WLAN performance

Not our fault, Wi-Fi chip maker responds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Broadcom last week fired a broadside against Wi-Fi chipset maker Atheros, alleging the latter's proprietary performance and range-boosting Super G technology slows down nearby standards-based wireless networks.

According to Broadcom, Super G, which doubles 802.11g's 54Mbps raw data rate (but only if you have two products containing Atheros chipsets at either end of the link), interferes with nearby networks, sometimes dragging data rates down to 1Mbps - even when they operate on a different channel.

Broadcom said it would detail its research this week, to allow independent verification of its findings. Atheros reckons no one will be able to do so. It denies the claim, saying its system causes no more network degradation than any other Wi-Fi product.

D-Link, which makes WLAN kit based on Atheros technology follows the chipmaker's line, PC World reports.

At issue is Super G's Turbo mode, which simultaneously runs data across channels five and six of the 11 22MHz-wide segments into which the Wi-Fi specification subdivides the 2.4GHz band. Because all but three channels overlap there is inevitably some interference with adjacent channels, but this is an issue with almost all Wi-Fi products. By choosing channels five and six, says Atheros, it has ensured that channels one and 11 remain clear.

Not so, alleges Broadcom. It says Turbo cross-channel interference stretches further than the IEEE standard 'allows', causing problems with networks that have flipped to channel one or 11. As a result, Wi-Fi networks utilising these bands slow down by dropping their data rate in order to reduce the number of errors induced by the interference.

This sort of thing has happened before, particularly with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi getting in each other's way, though Bluetooth's ability to hop around the 79 1MHz channels it splits the 2.4GHz band into generally ensures that interference is kept to a minimum.

That hasn't stopped Broadcom, for one, touting proprietary co-existence technology. Today it unveiled InConcert, which allows Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to "intelligently share" the 2.4GHz band - but again, only if you have Broadcom Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips in all the relevant clients and access points. Essentially, InConcert forces both radios to synchronise their transmissions to avoid interference. ®

Related Stories

Intel blasts proprietary Wi-Fi tweaks
Atheros triples Wi-Fi range to 1km
Proxim doubles 802.11a wirefree bandwidth to 108Mbps

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.