Multiple Tools Allow Developers to Implement Wireless USB and WiMedia Production DesignsAUSTIN, Texas--Jan. 2, 2006
--Alereon, a leading fabless semiconductor company developing wireless solutions for the WiMedia and Wireless USB (WUSB) markets, today announced the release of an array of development tools that will allow developers to generate both WiMedia and WUSB-based ultrawideband (UWB) designs. The tools include the AL4401-EVB and AL4402-EVB WiMedia Ultrawideband Physical Layer (PHY) Evaluation Boards, the AL4501-RDK Cardbus-based WiMedia and WUSB Host Adapter Reference Design, and the AL4001-EVK WiMedia PHY Evaluation Kit.
The AL4401-EVB and AL4002-EVB evaluation boards provide a starting point for building complete UWB solutions based on the Alereon AL4000 PHY chipset. Both boards are complete WiMedia-based UWB PHY products that support all mandatory and optional data rates up to 480 Mbps and deliver the highest possible performance in a small form factor. The AL4402-EVB evaluation board is designed to plug directly into the Intel Peripheral Development Kit (PDK) for Certified Wireless USB. Both evaluation boards are implemented using Alereon's AL4100 RF Transceiver and AL4200 Baseband Processor (BBP), and are based on the industry's WiMedia Media Access Controller (MAC)/PHY Interface 1.0 standard, requiring only the addition of a compatible MAC to build a complete UWB solution. A complete design information package including schematics, bill of materials, and approved vendor list is available from Alereon.
The AL4501-RDK reference design is an example of a small Cardbus-based WiMedia and WUSB Host Adapter solution. The design includes the AL4100 RF Transceiver and AL4200 BBP as well as a WiMedia and WUSB MAC. The AL4501-RDK was completely designed and developed by Alereon, including its small form factor antenna.
The Alereon AL4001-EVK WiMedia PHY Evaluation Kit provides a convenient platform for the evaluation and demonstration of Alereon's PHY technology based on the WiMedia UWB common radio platform. Housed in a compact enclosure, the evaluation kit includes Alereon's AL4000 chipset enabled WiMedia PHY and a USB 2.0 based connector. Using the included Windows NDIS driver, the AL4001-EVK creates a UWB TCP/IP bridge between two PCs.
Each Alereon design contains the AL4100 RF Transceiver and is designed to optimize throughput while minimizing the power per Megabyte transferred in noisy RF environments. Featuring superior interference rejection capability and support for all WiMedia data rates up to 480 Mbps in both TFI and FFI time frequency modes, the AL4100 transceiver assures maximum throughput in the office, at home, or on-the-go. For ease of integration, the AL4100 transceiver includes an internal transmit/receive switch, power amplifier, all the required filters and synthesizers, and a single-ended antenna output that eliminates the need for an external balun. When combined with the AL4200 BBP, a crystal and a small number of passive components, the two-chip chipset meets all the mandatory WiMedia (PHY) specifications for band group 1 in a small footprint on a four layer circuit board. Implemented in highly cost effective 0.35 um SiGe bipolar CMOS process from Jazz Semiconductor, the AL4100 transceiver is offered in a very small 5mm x 5mm 32-pin VQFN package.
The AL4200 BBP is an exceedingly flexible WiMedia compliant Baseband Processor that incorporates Alereon's CogniPHY(TM) cognitive radio technology. Designed to accommodate a wide variety of interference and regulatory scenarios, its highly programmable design includes extensive real time monitoring and diagnostic capabilities in excess of WiMedia requirements, all available through the standard WiMedia MAC/PHY interface. These features make optimal system performance over any number of operating conditions easy to achieve. The AL4200 BBP supports all the mandatory and optional data rates of the WiMedia PHY specifications from 55 Mbps up to 480 Mbps at full throughput, and offers an industry standard WiMedia MAC/PHY interface for seamless integration with the assortment of MACs, SOCs, and MPUs slated for release in 2006. The AL4200 BBP is implemented in 130 nm CMOS process and is available in a compact 10mm x 10mm 108-pin BGA package.
"The introduction of Alereon's development tools will allow customers to begin designing true 480 Mbps ultrawideband solutions," said Eric Broockman, CEO of Alereon. "With chip samples available this quarter and full production anticipated in the second quarter of 2006, customers can now focus on delivering UWB solutions."
Pricing for the AL4401-EVB and AL4402-EVB evaluation boards is $750. Pricing for the AL4001-EVK evaluation kit is $2500. The AL4100 transceiver and AL4200 BBP samples are available now. Production volumes will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Budgetary pricing for the AL4000 PHY chipset (includes the AL4100 transceiver and AL4200 BBP) is $9.86 in 10,000 piece quantities. The AL4300 MAC/ BPP will be available in the second quarter of 2006.
Alereon products will be demonstrated at the CES show in Las Vegas January 5-8 in the WiMedia TechZone located in the Central Hall, booth #7923-L.About Alereon, Inc.
Alereon, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company providing complete solutions for Certified Wireless USB and WiMedia ultra-wideband (UWB) applications. A technology pioneer, Alereon was first to demonstrate a WiMedia PHY running at 480Mbps in October of 2004. Alereon's products promise to replace the complex tangle of wiring used to interconnect today's consumer electronics, computer peripheral, and mobile devices with high-bandwidth, low-power, low-cost wireless links. Further information is available on the company's website: www.alereon.com