Atheros AR6003 ROCm solution forrobust multimedia performance

Atheros Logo Atheros has launched the ROCm single-chip 11n AR6003 family that claims to be the industry’s highest performance mobile WLAN technology. After the success of the AR6002, the AR6003 blends the excellent mobile WLAN throughput, range and energy efficiency of the ROCm technology with Atheros’ Align 1-stream 11n market leadership and expertise. The outcome is a Wi-Fi solution capable of up to 85Mbps of real throughput, perfectly suitable to support demanding multimedia applications on smartphones, mobile gaming devices and other portable consumer electronics products.

With its energy-saving capabilities and robust performance, the AR6003 supports Wi-Fi in mobile handheld devices and is an excellent mobile complement to the extensive Atheros ecosystem of Align-based 1-stream 11n solutions. Atheros Align technology is available in a wide range of netbooks, notebooks and desktop PCs from seven of the 10 top-most PC manufacturers. It is also featured in routers from the top five home networking equipment vendors. The fast growth and the success of Align-based products now amounts over 10 million computers and AP/routers. These products offer a flourishing ecosystem that will elevate the performance of portable devices connected with Atheros 1-stream 11n for the mobile WLAN segment.

The new ROCm AR6003 offers end-user throughput up to four times as compared to mobile WLAN solutions based on 11g. The AR6003, with its 11n capabilities acquire up to 48Mbps TCP/IP in the 2.4GHz band in 20MHz mode. It acquires an exceptional 85Mbps TCP/IP at 5GHz in 40MHz mode. The AR6003 raises its rate-over-range performance above the coverage improvements integrated in the 802.11n MAC and PHY. It enhances the performance by influencing advanced optional 11n features like Space Time Block Coding (STBC) and Low Density Parity Check (LDPC). The downlink performance to a mobile device is improved by STBC while LDPC encoding enhances uplink performance of mobile clients to Atheros XSPAN and Align-based wireless access points (APs). Both these features raise the actual throughput levels over longer distance.

“Wi-Fi isn’t just a nice-to-have in handsets and other highly-mobile devices – it’s essential,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, MA). “Single-stream 802.11n is the ideal solution in this use case enabling high-performance multimedia applications, and we expect to see hundreds of millions of single-stream products – from handsets to netbooks, gaming devices, cameras, and eBooks, just to name a few –ship over the next few years. Atheros is building on its leadership position and catching a big wave here, enabling capabilities that will amaze and delight product designers and consumers alike.”

The AR6003 supports the lowest current consumption of any 11n mobile WLAN solution available in the market today to considerably extend battery life. It also helps in supporting demands of transferring large media files. The AR6003 is created on the market-proven power capability of the AR6002 integrated with the low-power benefits from rapid transferring at 11n speeds. Like its predecessor, the AR6003 is overcoming the power barrier for mobile WLAN. It is incorporated with Atheros patented on-chip Efficient Power Amplifier (EPA) technology to decrease the power consumption by internal PAs and offers output power of an external PA. The outcome is an average current usage at 11n rates that is around 20 percent less than its predecessor.

Atheros designed the AR6003 by implementing a wide array of advanced mobile wireless coexistence techniques called as Atheros Universal Wireless Cooperation. It incorporates Shared Rx mechanism to considerably improve the concurrent functioning of WLAN and Bluetooth. The coexistence can be improved by allowing the AR6003 to guide received traffic via its internal low noise amplifier (LNA) to the Bluetooth RF port. The solution can now optimize mobile WLAN throughput when found with any Bluetooth chip. With advanced Packet Traffic Arbitration (PTA)-focused algorithms, the AR6003 can easily analyze the contents of WLAN frames to arrange Wi-Fi traffic with priority and optimize throughput. It also prevents interference with Bluetooth functioning. With the help of additional algorithms, WLAN rate-over-range performance is improved when cooperating with Bluetooth, without compromising throughput at close range.

“Leveraging Atheros’ innovation, market leadership and expertise in11n technology, we are pleased to deliver yet another mobile WLAN breakthrough with the AR6003,” said Amir Faintuch, vice president and general manager of Atheros’ mobile business unit. “With this Align-based solution running on a standard 1500 mAh battery dedicated to Wi-Fi alone, a user could download nearly one terabyte of data. That’s equivalent to transferring 250,000 songs or 40 HD-quality movies.”

The AR6003 offers 11n class performance in a wide range of mobile handsets and handheld products. The solution comes with linearized, high-power amplifier and power management unit (PMU) on chip that enables direct connection to the battery. As a result, the industry’s leading edge compact standalone 11n solution measures only around 5mm x 5mm. In order to fulfill the demand for supporting a wide variety of application design requirements, the solution is available in single (2.4 GHz) and dual-band (2.4/5 GHz) options in BGA or CSP packages.

The AR6003 integrates the company’s peer-to-peer Wi-Fi technology called the Atheros Direct Connect AP Mode. It offers 1-stream 11n throughput levels up to 85Mbps transmitted over Direct Connect. The solution can share advanced media content with other Wi-Fi enabled devices anywhere. At the same time, it also maintains Internet connectivity for email, browsing and file downloads.

It offers designers the ability to create and enhanced mobile device with a host wakeup and Wi-Fi protected Setup (WPS). For now, Atheros’ AR6003 third-generation ROCm solutions are sampling and are already designed into several mobile applications.