17 October 2002 -- Agere Systems and Infineon Technologies have formed an alliance to develop high-performance chips based on the 802.11 standard to enable next-generation wireless networking solutions.
This technology is said to offer 20 times higher bandwidth than current wireless networks and will reach up to 54Mbit/s to support enterprise solutions, multimedia entertainment and home applications. The collaboration between Agere and Infineon includes intellectual property licensing and a mutual supply agreement. Both companies will independently market next-generation wireless LAN products.
The solution will be targeted to manufacturers of communications, computing and multimedia equipment to meet the growing demand for high data rate wireless LAN systems that provide business and residential users with flexible access to email and the Internet. By developing a solution that leverages the respective strengths of each company, Agere and Infineon will help drive the deployment of wireless LAN.
According to IDC, an industry analyst firm, the total market for wireless LAN chips is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% from USD331m in 2001 to USD1.2bn by 2006.
Current applications are supported by today's 11Mbit/s 802.11b technology. However, as new services emerge and the number of end-users grows, the bandwidth required in enterprise networks will rise significantly.
The market will increasingly migrate to multimode solutions, which combine 802.11a, b, and g technologies, while operating in both the 2.4 and 5.2GHz frequencies. Multimode solutions are projected to represent as much as 57% of the total wireless LAN chip market by 2006 (IDC).
"Together, Infineon and Agere will build advanced wireless LAN solutions that combine best-in-class RF capabilities with systems-level expertise to establish an undisputable leading force in the wireless LAN industry," said Ulrich Hamann, CEO of Infineon Wireless Solutions.
"Our joint reference designs will allow manufacturers to offer high-speed wireless solutions at or below the cost of today's 802.11b offerings," said Ron Black, executive vice president of Agere Systems' Client Systems Group. "Providing improved performance, while reducing system costs, will be a key factor in accelerating market deployment of high-speed wireless networking."
Agere will provide its wireless LAN system architecture, multimode media access controller (MAC) and driver software to the joint solution, while Infineon will contribute its advanced dual-band radio technology and wide-band power amplifier chips. Agere and Infineon will co-develop the physical layer (PHY) component for the reference designs, combining intellectual property and experience from each company.
The companies will cross-license patents and technology that will be jointly used. Agere and Infineon will offer to the market not only a highly competitive solution but also security and flexibility in sourcing. The two companies will begin sampling to customers by second quarter 2003.