A new chip from Atmel Corporation provides a connection between a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and a Wide Area Network (WAN).
The AT76C511 device itself is an access point/router that comprises two ARM7TDMI processors, two 10/100 Ethernet Media Access Controllers (MACs), a high-speed USART and a 802.11b MAC.
The AT76C511 based bridge controller supports several applications such as an Access Point (AP), Bridges, wireless routers and ADSL to WLAN. In AP mode, the Internetworking ARM (INWARM) is dedicated to managing the Ethernet based data that is destined outside the WLAN using IP over Ethernet. In Bridge mode, the Internetworking ARM is capable of implementing the protocol for bridging AP’s to AP’s. In a wireless router mode, the second Ethernet MAC can be connected to a 4-port or 8-port ethernet switch. And finally, the second Ethernet MAC can also be connected to an ADSL chipset.
To address security concerns, the AT76C511 integrates a dedicated hardware block to implement Wired Encryption Privacy (WEP) enciphering / deciphering of wireless data for both 64 and 128 bit keys. The device also supports the recently announced Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security solution, including 802.1x and TKIP.
To speed customer design in time, Atmel selected the uC-Linux Operating System for the AP/Router. The uC-Linux code runs on the INWARM processor and is provided as open source under Linux’s General Public License.
Independent libraries for hardware access are provided for the AT76C511 to accommodate its use with other operating systems or custom firmware. Available Networking functions for the AT76C511 include Web/Telnet server, DHCP server/client, PPP server, SNMP, Network Address Translation (NAT), Firewall, Router, Access Control List (ACL), PPPoE and VPN Management.
A complete reference design kit (AT76C511-EK) using the single-chip RF Microdevices RF transceiver (RF2958) and Power Amplifier (RF5189) is available. Additionally, a complete Development Platform (AT76C511-DK) is also offered for those who want to develop and test their own code. Included is a RS232 socket for system extension, an ARM7 JTAG port for program development and debugging, a complete GCC compiler-tool chain to compile and upload custom applications, 8 General Purpose I/O Pins (GPIO’s).
The platform is also accompanied by Production Testing and RF Calibration Utilities. Additionally, a boot loader, Several Utilities providing significant flexibility to its configuration and upgrade procedures are provided. Finally, additional non-upgradeable Factory image (save-boot), Serial Console, Web/SNMP/MIB based configuration are provided.
The AT76C511, packaged in a 208-pin LQFP, is now in production. Leadtimes are around 10 weeks After Receipt of Order. Pricing for the AT76C511 starts around $14.50 at 25K units.