today announced plans to develop networking technology based on hardware from Atheros. The company has developed an IEEE 802.11a “radio-on-a-chip” (RoC) technology that transmits data wirelessly at up to 54 Mbps — almost five times faster than the technology used in Apple’s AirPort hardware.
Proxim, Inc. is the parent company of networking hardware maker Farallon. Although the company makes some products designed to work via 802.11b, Proxim has been a strong proponent of HomeRF — a slower wireless standard that Proxim has positioned for use in home networking products.
Proxim has had a tough row to hoe in recent months. The company took a beating on Wall Street following Intel’s announcement that it was incorporating support for “Wi-Fi,” or 802.11b — the same standard used by Apple in its AirPort hardware — in future consumer-oriented wireless networking products. Up until then, Intel had supported HomeRF for consumer products.
Atheros’ high-speed wireless networking solution uses the industry standard IEEE 802.11a reference for its design. The wireless communications system works in the 5 GHz range.
Although Proxim hasn’t announced today any new products that use the Atheros-developed technology, comments made Proxim VP and general manager Kurt Bauer suggest that the products will be positioned at businesses rather than consumers. Bauer said that the new technology provides the performance, low cost, and low power that enterprises need.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Atheros to deliver the next generation of reliable, high-speed wireless networking solutions,” said Bauer.