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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Qualcomm goes head to head with Broadcom on powerline networking

AR7420 Chipset Aims to Provide the Smallest, Highest Performing and Lowest Power HomePlug AV-Based Products
By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Following hard on the heels of yesterday's announcement by Broadcom of a 40nm single chip powerline device, Qualcomm Atheros (QCA) has also launched a new chipset for the HomePlug AV powerline networking standard.
The networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm has announced its new AR7420 chipset, which it will be demonstrating at the Broadband World Forum conference this week in Paris. Samples of the AR7420 chip will be available before the end of the year. 
Pricing and die size are not available from either supplier.
The AR7420 is a powerline communications (PLC) transceiver IC that enables the world's smallest, highest performing and lowest power HomePlug AV-based and IEEE 1901-compliant products yet deployed. The chipset is the latest in Qualcomm Atheros' AMP Powerline technology portfolio, and it is optimized for embedded solutions and small form-factor standalone adapters. The AR7420 is specifically designed for multi-media applications and delivers up to 500 Mbps of powerline performance in a cost-effective approach to support high throughput connectivity for broad consumer adoption in high volume applications.
"With the launch of the AR7420, Qualcomm Atheros is demonstrating its commitment to address the dramatically expanding connectivity requirements of the digital home," said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "The AR7420 provides a cost-effective powerline solution that is specifically optimized for multi-media streaming and embedded applications so as to drive down the cost of adding powerline communications into a variety of clients and routers. We are excited to expand our ecosystem of powerline products for our customers and end users."
Aimed at both standalone powerline equipment or in QCA's 'Hy-Fi' hybrid networking designs using Qualcomm Atheros' Wi-Fi technology, the AR7420 chipset operates over a wider spectrum (2 MHz to 68 MHz), delivering more than twice the PHY rate speed of current HomePlug AV solutions. This fifth-generation HomePlug AV-based IC also delivers carrier-grade performance with support for multicast IPTV, reliable quality of service and whole home coverage.
The AR7420 chip includes an MII/RMII host interface, integrated memory and a 10/100 low power Ethernet PHY. The AR1540 line driver IC is a companion chip that provides signal optimization and multiple country support.

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