Monday, May 18, 2009

Broadcom Accelerates Enterprise 802.11n Networks

Broadcom introduced a unified silicon and software solution for 802.11n enterprise wireless networks that combines wireless LAN (WLAN) silicon, switch silicon and networking software.

Broadcom said its 802.11n enterprise solution enables seamless mobility around the office while delivering the same network management, scalability, security, performance and cost advantages of a wired network.

Most enterprise wireless networks have been grafted onto an existing wired network using an overlay approach in which all WLAN traffic is tunneled to a centralized access controller where it is de-encapsulated and authenticated before entering the wired network. While this approach is workable for 802.11a/b/g networks, it creates bottlenecks in higher bandwidth 802.11n networks because it treats wireless as a special service running over the network rather than an inherent feature of the network itself.

Broadcom's solution includes several new products: the Broadcom BCM56520 unified wireless switch, the Intensi-fi BCM4748 802.11n access point (AP) system-on-a-chip (SoC) with Accelerange technology, and FASTPATH Unified Wireless Switching (UWS) 6.0 software optimized for unified wireless switching and unified wireless APs.

"While 802.11n improves Wi-Fi performance and expands wireless connectivity into new applications, it requires a new unified network architecture to avoid inefficiencies and traffic bottlenecks," said Martin Lund, Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Networking Switching Business Unit. "Our expertise in wired and wireless networks makes us uniquely positioned to address this challenge. Not only are we the first to develop the silicon building blocks necessary for a unified network architecture, we are also the only vendor with software specifically designed to support it. With a unified wireless network, all of the performance, scalability and expense benefits of the traditional wired network are now available to support wireless traffic."

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