TAIPEI, Taiwan More than a year after its Asian rivals, Realtek Semiconductor Corp. has finally pushed out the door the RF component of its wireless LAN chip set.
To make up for its tardiness, the company spun the 802.11a/g transceiver on a 0.18 micron RF CMOS process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., representing a one-up on local competition and driving the price down in the increasingly competitive Wi-Fi marketplace.
By adding the RF chip to its lineup, Realtek joins chip heavyweights Philips Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, Inc., as well as lesser known Taiwan companies Ralink Technology and Fodus Communications, in offering a full Wi-Fi chip set.
Like its Taiwan peers, Realtek is targeting the CardBus, MiniPCI, USB dongle and router markets with the chip, but has not offered a timeline on when it will reduce power consumption in its baseband/MAC to make the chip more suitable for PDAs, Smartphones or other battery-driven applications.
Realtek's latest lineup now includes: the RTL8255, an .11a/b/g transceiver; the RTL8185L, an .11a/b/g baseband/MAC; the RTL8225, an .11b/g transceiver; and the RTL8187L, a USB 2.0 version of the .11a/b/g baseband/MAC.
The transceivers use a dual conversion architecture, which obviates the need for an external IF SAW filter. For the RTL8255 .11a/g part, the transmit/receive current consumption is 210 mA. Tx power is +5 dBm in .11g mode and, depending on the mode, sensitivity ranges from 71 dBm (.11a) to 72 dBm (.11g), the company said.
The system noise figure is 4 dB (.11a) and 3dB (.11g). The power amplifier is integrated. Engineering samples are available and mass production is scheduled for the third quarter.