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Freescale, Arada team up for reference design

Posted: 16 Jul 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:802.11n  access point  reference design  processing power 

Freescale Semiconductor and Arada Systems team up to create a production-ready reference design to help 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 leverages Freescale's MPC8377E-RDB platform to deliver more than 330 MBps of TCP/IP throughput in the combined 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, while providing enough processing power to address other enterprise-class applications.

"Partnering with Arada allows us to offer our customers a proven, production-ready solution that provides industry leading performance for 802.11n enterprise WLAN access points," said Altaf Hussain, marketing manager with Freescale Semiconductor's Networking Systems Division. "This solution gives manufacturers the components they need to rapidly create compelling new products that succeed in the marketplace."

Running on the Freescale silicon is Arada's AWS software, which is a highly scalable architecture ideal 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. The modular architecture of the AWS software allows customers to focus on high value tasks while relying on the robust architecture and implementation of the MAC layer functionalities.

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

"Arada Systems is excited to venture in this partnership with a world-class company like Freescale," said Praveen Singh, president and chief executive officer of Arada Systems. "There is tremendous growth expected in 802.11n within emerging applications, and Freescale's architecture allows us to exploit many features including PCI- and PCIe-ready capabilities."

Freescale's MPC8377E-RDB is a highly integrated reference design board created to speed time to market. The platform features 256Mbit unbuffered DDR2 SDRAM, 8Mbit NOR flash and 32 Mbit 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 PCIe add in connector and a MiniPCIe 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 jumpstart 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 from 400MHz to 667MHz. It supports a 32K instruction and L1 data cache. The device also supports two gigabit Ethernet controllers, USB 2.0, PCI 2.3, 64/32bit DDR1/2 and an integrated security engine, as well as two x1 PCIe and two SATA II controllers.

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