updated 03:05 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Atheros intros three powerline/Wi-Fi routers
Atheros Communications will release three hybrid home networking hardware designs that use Wi-Fi, powerline and Ethernet connections. These are said to extend both range and bandwidth of home networks, and include a mix of Atheros chips and Intellon's, which was bought by Atheros in the fall of last year. Intellon makes powerline chips, while Atheros is known for Wi-Fi hardware.
Early products are due as soon as November. Some of the new reference products include yet-to-be-announced Atheros chips.
The basic design includes a HomePlug adapter with outputs for Fast Ethernet links and a retail price of under $50. Next up will be a HomePlug adapter with an integrated Wi-Fi range extender and a price tag of between $50 and $100. The highest-end offering will sport a single-band (2.4GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi router with 2x2 MIMO antennas that also supports HomePlug AV powerline networking. It should cost under $100.
Atheros juggles data between the powerline and Wi-Fi networks using Ethernet, and provides software that allows users to manage this as a single network. The HomePlug chips are said to provide application-layer consumer data throughput speeds as fast as 200-230Mbps. [via EETimes]