Agere Systems and Ubicom, Inc. Announce Collaboration Aimed at Delivering Cost-Effective Wireless Networking Solutions
MARCH 12, 2003 - ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) and Ubicom, Inc. today announced a collaboration to deliver 802.11b/Wi-Fi™ reference designs aimed at bringing ubiquitous wireless connectivity closer to reality. Working together, the two companies are delivering solutions that will meet the unique cost, performance, size and time-to-market requirements for wireless local area networking (LAN) applications.
The first offering from Agere and Ubicom is a single-board reference design for access point, repeater and Ethernet bridge solutions using Agere's two-chip Wi-Fi solution and Ubicom's IP2000 processor and software platform. Targeted at making wireless LAN technology more readily accessible for home and small office users, this design provides one of the industry's lowest bill of materials and streamlines product development for significantly faster time-to-market - two of the most critical issues facing OEM and ODM customers who are designing low-cost wireless LAN solutions. A prototype of the design will be on display at the 2003 CeBIT Show (Hall 13, Stand 37) this week in Hannover, Germany.
"Our customers are demanding reference designs that offer multiple advantages such as a small footprint, increased functionality and accelerated time to market, while keeping systems costs aligned to supply access points priced below $100," said Ron Torten, vice president of Agere's Networking and Entertainment Division. "Together, we will cost-effectively deliver the seamless wireless connections available in many large enterprises to homes and small offices."
"This reference design pairs breakthrough technology from Agere and Ubicom to deliver an optimized platform for wireless product development," said Bulent Celebi, chief executive officer of Ubicom. "By combining the industry's first integrated 802.11b radio and baseband module from Agere with Ubicom's revolutionary processor and software platform, we give ODMs the tools they need to rapidly and cost-effectively develop wireless products. This will drive the broad deployment of WLANs, and move the industry further along the path toward making communications ubiquitous and transparent."
The Agere/Ubicom access point reference design is a complete solution, which includes:
- Integrated 802.11b module. Agere's WaveLAN™ (WL11411) Module is the industry's first integrated 802.11b radio and baseband module. It integrates all major radio frequency (RF) components - including the RF baseband, direct down-conversion radio, antenna switch and power amplifier - into a single surface-mount package measuring only 25 millimeters squared. Along with providing architectural flexibility, Agere's WL1141 PHY module is fully tested, calibrated and compliant to the IEEE 802.11b standard. The component includes on-chip shielding that gives it the flexibility to be installed anywhere on an application's printed circuit board, while protecting against interference with other components.
- Media Access Controller (MAC). Agere's WaveLAN (WL60010) Media Access Controller provides programmable host interface support, one megabyte of on-chip memory and a glueless interface to Agere's 802.11b radio chipsets and modules. Agere's MAC fully supports 802.11b standardized data rates of up to 11 Mbits/s and is compatible with Agere's next-generation high-speed, multimode solutions. It also includes software support for the new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security specification.
- Processor and Software Platform. Ubicom's IP2000 processor family delivers wire-speed performance, at up to half the cost, using one-third the power, in one-tenth the footprint of competing technologies. The platform implements communications and control functions in software, allowing customers to support any of the industry's most prevalent networking protocols, including 802.11, Bluetooth and HomePlug, with a single processor platform. Software I/O dramatically reduces development time and engineering cost. The processors feature a deterministic, memory-to-memory architecture that processes packets directly in memory, eliminating costly on-chip and off-chip hardware, and delivering up to five times the throughput of comparable platforms. Shipping in volume today, the IP2000 can be found in both retail and commercial products ranging from Ethernet bridges and small office/home office (SOHO) access points to voice-over-IP phones, Web cameras, refrigeration systems and printers.
- Software. Ubicom's processors are optimized to run the company's comprehensive software offering. This includes a real-time operating system with a code size that is 20 times smaller than comparable Linux platforms, as well as a full suite of software modules that can be mixed and matched to deliver customized, optimized networking products. Moreover the company's powerful, easy-to-use development environment reduces time-to-market from several months to less than twelve weeks.
- Development Support. Ubicom offers a host of development tools and kits for its IP2000 family processors. These kits include the company's unique configuration tool that allows customers to add networking functionality to their products with the click of a button. After selecting their desired features, the configuration tool automatically builds all of the necessary code, and strips away unused code to conserve memory. This configuration tool is included in the company's development kits, along with all of the necessary hardware and software for embedding wireless and device connectivity into a networked product.
Ubicom and Agere will work together to support customer implementations of the reference design. The two companies expect to begin sampling to customers in April. It will be offered as an upgrade to Ubicom's wireless development kit, and as a part of Agere's WaveLAN portfolio.
Agere is an industry pioneer in developing wireless LAN products, and its WaveLAN, Wi-Fi-compliant chips, PC cards and modules have been incorporated into the current products manufactured by virtually all of the top PC makers. Agere also continues to be at the forefront of standards development and deployment. Ubicom's vision is to enable the extension of the Internet to new locations, as well as new devices, beyond the PC. The company's network processor and software platform has been designed from the ground-up for wireless connectivity.
About Agere Systems
Agere Systems is a premier provider of advanced integrated circuit solutions for wireless data, high-density storage and multiservice networking applications. Agere's wireless data portfolio enables seamless network access and Internet connectivity through industry-leading WiFi/802.11 solutions for wireless LANs and computing applications, as well as its GPRS offering for data-capable cellular phones. The company also provides custom and standard multi-service networking solutions, such as broadband Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH components and wireless infrastructure chips, to move information across metro, access and enterprise networks. Agere is the market leader in providing integrated circuits such as read-channel chips, preamplifiers and system-on-a-chip solutions for high-density storage applications. Agere's customers include the leading PC manufacturers, wireless terminal providers, network equipment suppliers and hard-disk drive providers. More information about Agere Systems is available from its Web site at www.agere.com.
About Ubicom, Inc.
Ubicom, Inc. is making ubiquitous communications a reality, through wireless network processor and software platforms that enable all electronic devices to be connected to each other - securely, cost-effectively and transparently. With headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Ubicom also has offices in Belgium, Taiwan and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.ubicom.com.
Agere Safe Harbor Statement:
This release contains forward-looking statements based on information available to Agere as of the date hereof. Agere's actual results could differ materially from the results stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, satisfactory outcome of our upcoming union contract negotiations, keeping pace with technological change, dependence on new product development, price and product competition, availability of manufacturing capacity, customer demand for our products and services, general industry and market conditions, timely completion of employment reductions and other restructuring and consolidation activities, limits on our ability to issue equity to raise capital and reliance on major customers and suppliers. For a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002, and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2002. Agere disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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