Yakum, IsraelHere's a chipset that may ease designs of wireless digital entertainment systems. Introduced by Metalink Ltd,. a provider of wireless and wire-line broadband communication silicon, this second-generation WLANPlus chipset is billed by the company as the industry's first CE-grade (consumer electronics) IEEE-802.11n-draft-compliant dual-band chip-set.
The devices comprising the chipset were pre-introduced about 18 months ago by Metalink, and the company is now set to ship to OEMs with this second-gen rendition.
Back in 2005, the first-gen chipset was priced at about $25 a pop in high OEM quantities. This latest spin comes in at less than $20.
Two Device Partition
Designed to enable high-throughput content-rich applications, WLANPlus could be the foundation for a full-coverage wireless home entertainment network. The WLANPlus comprises a MtW8171 baseband device, and a MtW8151 RFIC.
Click to view system block diagram
Metalink says its WLANPlus MtW8171 and MtW8151 802.11n chipset is optimized to go beyond previous approaches that were designed primarily to transport data. In contrast, the WLANPlus addresses the more rigorous needs of CE designs.
As such, it supports demanding optional specifications of the 802.11n standard, providing functions critical for the streaming of HDTV (high-definition television) video, for example. In that role it can support three MPEG-2 HDTV streams at 60-Mbits/s, with distance coverage to 60-ft.
It also supports operation in both the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands. In tune with the specs called out in the IEEE drafts for 802.11n Wi-Fi certification, this device is also fully compliant with 802.11a/b/g-based legacy devices, as well as 802.11h (for radar detection), 802.11i (for security applications), and with 802.11e QoS (quality of service).
The chipset also supports optional features, and uses proprietary algorithms, to meet multimedia applications that require high bandwidth and the lowest possible jitter, latency, and packet loss.
To double network coverage in a typical home environment, the WLANPlus approach features a so-called ML (maximum likelihood) slicer, as well as an advance-coding gain using LDPC (low-density parity checking). the LDPC uses FEC (forward error-correction) to boost range and signal robustness.
In a 2 x 3 MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) ranking, Metalink's ML slicer provides benefits equivalent to those of transmit beam formingwithout the dependency problems associated with the latter. ML is implemented within a DSP processing portion of the transmitter. Channel-bonding and antenna-loading techniques in the 5-GHz band provide additional video-distribution performance.
To guarantee QoS, WLANPLus also features QoS mechanisms Metalink calls EDCA (Enhanced Distribution Channel Access) with admission control, and FLA (fast link adaptation). The device also implements DLS (dynamic link adaptation) that cuts, the amount of air time that must be used for QoS operations by 50%, while increasing network efficiency.
The WLANPlus chip-set also fully implements a MAC (Media Access Controller). That is claimed to reduce the required processing horsepower and memory allocation from an application's host processor. This eases WLANPlus integration and reduces total product cost.
Packet-aggregation techniques boost MAC efficiency to double the effective throughput of other techniques offered by competitors.
Metalink is offering several reference designs for its chip-set, including support for Mini PCI (Type IIIB), CardBus, and residential gateways.
Click here for the predecessor MtW8150 datasheet (in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format). The datasheets for the second-generation ICs are not posted on the company's Web siter at this time.
Click here for a WLANPlus brochure (also in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format).
For more details contact Metalink Ltd., Yakum Business Park, Israel 60972. Phone: 972 9 960 5555. Fax: 972 9 960 5544. E-mail: info@metalinkBB.com, or Metalink Inc., Peachtree Pointe Office Park, 3260 Pointe Parkway, Suite 400, Norcross, Georgia 30092. Phone: 678-325-5430. Fax: 770-242-5998.
Metalink, 678-325-5430, www.metalinkbb.com