Portfolio of 802.11ac chips for mobile computing platforms demonstrated

June 06, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Qualcomm Atheros claims to have demonstrated the industry's first solutions that integrate 802.11ac Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth™ 4.0 connectivity for tablets and notebook computers. Qualcomm Atheros' 1-, 2- and 3-stream solutions are part of the company's end-to-end 802.11ac ecosystem, which is driving Gigabit-class wireless connectivity in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and networking products.

As consumers use tablets and notebooks to create, download and stream media files over wireless networks, Qualcomm Atheros' 802.11ac devices are designed to deliver connectivity with the speed and reliability essential to today's mobile computing environments. Qualcomm Atheros' 802.11ac offers more than three times the Wi-Fi performance of 802.11n per stream and is capable of delivering up to 1.3 Gbps PHY rates with the company's 3-stream solutions. The latest devices also feature Bluetooth™ 4.0 with low-power mode for connecting mobile computers to wireless keyboards, headsets, speakers, printers and other peripherals while also conserving battery power.

Qualcomm Atheros is providing 802.11ac that address a variety of mobile computing applications and will ensure end-product interoperability when the Wi-Fi Alliance begins its certification program in the first quarter of 2013. For tablets, the WCN3680 mobile 802.11ac device features integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and FM capabilities. Paired with the Snapdragon™ APQ8064 application processor, it delivers always-on, always-connected mobile computing experiences on tablet platforms. The WCN3680 supports 433 Mbps maximum PHY rates, with end-user throughput up to 200 Mbps for tablets based on Windows 8, Windows RT, Android and other Linux-based operating systems.

For notebooks, the QCA9862 and QCA9860 are 2- and 3-stream, dual-band 802.11ac devices with integrated Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The PCIe-based designs support up to 1.3 Gbps (3-stream) or 867 Mbps (2-stream) PHY rates for notebooks operating on Windows and Linux-based operating systems. In addition, an enhanced Fast Channel Switch (FCS) feature maximizes concurrent throughput and performance with access points and peer-to-peer connections.

All devices feature a unique architecture that incorporates hardware acceleration to offload Wi-Fi processing from the host CPU. The resulting performance and power efficiencies enable users to enjoy Gigabit Wi-Fi without compromising on battery life.

Qualcomm Atheros is sampling its WCN3680 and QCA986x products to select customers now.