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January 02, 2008

Marvell to Offer Sneak Peak of TopDog 11n-450 802.11n Wireless Chip at CES 2008

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor

Consumer electronics manufacturer Marvell (News - Alert) said Wednesday it will be offering a sneak peak of its new TopDog 11n-450 wireless local area network (WLAN) chip at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) next week.

The company described TopDog 11n-450 as an 802.11n 3x3 solution with three spatial streams, and claimed it is the first 802.11n chip to operate at 450 Megabits-per-second (Mbps). This means maximum bandwidth eight times faster than 54 Mbps versions based on 802.11g and 1.5 faster than 300 Mbps solutions based on 802.11n.
In other words, the chip will offer, as Marvell puts it, “significant performance enhancements” for a variety of computing and consumer electronics products, including laptops, set-top boxes, printers, DVD players and recorders, gaming devices, routers and desktop PCs.
The chip’s speed will enable users to perform such feats as moving physically further from the wireless source while running multiple streaming video sessions without experiencing the tell-tale signs of signal weakness (e.g. freezing frames).
Not only is the TopDog 11n-450 chip a speed demon, it also is a relatively low-cost solution because it’s built using 90-nanometer process technology, resulting in reduced power consumption. Plus it’s backward compatible with 802.11a, b, g and previous versions of n.
“Marvell is first-to-market with an 802.11n 450 Mbps solution so manufacturers can deliver industry-leading wireless range and performance to consumers who are seeking faster and more powerful Wi-Fi capabilities,” said Sameer Bidichandani, senior director of technology strategy at Marvell Semiconductor, in a statement.
Bidichandani continued: “Compliant with the 802.11n specification, the new Marvell TopDog 11n-450 chip also offers Marvell-engineered enhancements to the specification, such as Special Time Block Coding (STBC), that helps maintain higher throughput over longer distances.”
Marvell said the chip should begin shipping next quarter. Anyone interested in seeing it before than can do so by attending CES and stopping by Booth #30651 in the South Hall.

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Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

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