Low power Wi-Fi

Texas Instruments has introduced a new WLAN processor designed for embedded Wi-Fi applications, such as laptop computers, personal digital assistants, cell phones and other portable devices.

Texas Instruments has introduced a new WLAN processor designed for embedded Wi-Fi applications, such as laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and other portable devices.

The TNETW1100B is an integrated, single-chip 802.11b Medium Access Controller (MAC) and baseband processor (BBP) that sports a standby power consumption of less than 2 mW yielding up to a 10x reduction in standby power consumption at the system level over current 802.11b chipsets.

Most 802.11b devices spend nearly 95% of their time in non-operational sleep or standby modes versus transmitting or receiving data. By addressing the standby power consumption, in addition to the power consumed during transmit/receive operation, systems based on TI’s TNETW1100B allow for battery-efficiency and longer usage times.

Importantly, no performance or throughput compromise is experienced to obtain the improvements in power consumption. As a direct benefit of TI’s ELP technology, an 802.11b-enabled PDA based on the TNETW1100B will experience up to 25% more battery life over competitive solutions. A laptop running typical office applications with a TNETW1100B-based PC Card or miniPCI will use up to 75% less energy than competitive solutions.

To save board space in portable and consumer electronics systems, TI’s TNETW1100B is the smallest 802.11b MAC/BBP in a 12 x 12 mm package, which is 44% smaller than its predecessor, the ACX100. For existing designs the TNETW1100B also comes in a 16 x 16 mm package that is pin-for-pin compatible with the ACX100. TI also claim that the TNETW1100B offers the industry’s highest performing 802.11b Complementary Code Keying (CCK) operation, providing up to a 30% throughput improvement at greater distances. As an option, it also supports the 22 Mbit/sec data rate of TI’s PBCC modulation.

The TNETW1100B also supports a variety of host interfaces that make it easily embeddable into mobile devices and WLAN access points. These include CardBus, PCI, miniPCI, USB, Compact Flash, PCMCIA and a 16-bit generic slave interface.

The TNETW1100B is sampling now and is scheduled to be available in volume production in the fourth quarter of 2002. Suggested pricing is planned at under $10 in 10,000 quantities.

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