Freescale And Arada Systems Collaborate On 802.11n Access Point Devices

Aug. 7, 2008
Freescale Semiconductor and Arada Systems have jointly created a production-ready reference design they claim will speed and simplify the development of concurrent 802.11n access point devices. The solution supports advanced 802.11n features such as ...

Freescale Semiconductor and Arada Systems have jointly created a production-ready reference design they claim will speed and simplify the development of concurrent 802.11n access point devices. The solution supports advanced 802.11n features such as security, QoS, and multiple SSID for both video and VoIP applications.

The reference design uses Freescale's MPC8377E-RDB platform to deliver more than 330 Mbps of TCP/IP throughput in the combined 2.4-GHz and 5.0-GHz bands, while providing enough processing power to address other enterprise-class applications. Running on the Freescale silicon is Arada's AWS software, which is a highly scalable architecture suitable for a range of Wi-Fi products including wireless bridges, wireless routers, and triple-play gateway applications.

AWS features Atheros Draft 802.11n XSPAN technology and includes an extensible layer called SoftChip, which maximizes the advanced capabilities of Atheros Wi-Fi chipsets. It has a true enterprise-class Wi-Fi software stack that supports dual-concurrent 2.4-GHz and 5.0-GHz designs while providing the flexibility to support various fat, fit, and thin AP models.

Freescale's MPC8377E-RDB is a highly integrated reference design board which features 256-Mbyte unbuffered DDR2 SDRAM, 8-Mbyte NOR flash, and 32-Mbyte NAND flash, where the platform can boot from either NOR or NAND flash.

It includes both a Gigabit PHY and a 5-port Ethernet switch, as well as support for a PCI Express add in connector and a MiniPCI Express slot. The platform supports two Serial-ATA II (SATA II) connectors and has a 4-port USB hub or a 1-port USB on-the-go (OTG).

These components, integrated with the MPC8377E processor, provide an application-specific platform that can help customers get a jump start on their next application design. Along with hardware support, the MPC8377E-RDB comes with a board support package (BSP) that includes both U-boot and Linux 2.6 support. The MPC8377E processor is based on the e300 core, built on Power Architecture technology, and has a frequency range of 400667 MHz. It supports a 32k instruction and L1 data cache. The device also supports two Gigabit Ethernet controllers, USB 2.0, PCI 2.3, 64/32-bit DDR1/2, and an integrated security engine, as well as two x1 PCI Express and two SATA II controllers

About the Author

Paul Whytock | Editor-in-Chief

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Microwaves & RF and European Editor-in-Chief for Electronic Design. He reports on the latest news and technology developments in Europe for his US readers while providing his European engineering audience with global news coverage from the electronics sector. Trained originally as a design engineer with Ford Motor Co., Whytock holds an HNC in mechanical, electrical, and production engineering.

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