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Wireless Features

Introduction

Atheros announced its Super-G throughput enhancement technology back in April of this year, but it's taken until now for products to hit the shelves. Something else is hitting the ,er, fan, though, in the form of a controversy stirred up by rival WLAN chipmaker Broadcom during the recent Las Vegas Comdex show.

As I described in my Comdex coverage, the short story is that Broadcom is asserting that Atheros' Super-G based products will interfere with neighboring 802.11b and g networks, severely limiting their speed and, in some cases, shutting them down completely.

Broadcom's demo used a video streamed via Broadcom 11g equipment operated in close proximity to a second WLAN using NETGEAR's WGT624 108Mbps router and WG511T 108Mbps Cardbus card, both of which use Atheros chipsets with Super-G enhancement.

In this NTK, I'll first explain what Super-G is and then explore the key source of Broadcom's concern. I'll then present the results of tests that I've run in my home office environment pitting not just Super-G against "normal" 11g wireless LANs, but also "normal" 11g WLANs against each other.

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