The Align products are single-stream draft 802.11n devices for both receive and transmit. The use of a single-stream vs. dual-stream design enables lower part cost and power consumption, while still providing higher throughput and coverage over 802.11g devices.
Atheros says that Align-based products will deliver PHY rates (raw data) of up to 150 Mbps without employing MIMO technology by using the draft 802.11n MAC, which also enables forward-compatibility to exisiting and future multi-stream MIMO-based draft 802.11n products.
The company also said Align delivers "more than double the coverage" of legacy 11g products by using 802.11n techniques including Space Time Block Coding (STBC) and Enhanced Receiver Synchronization (ERS). Power consumption is said to be "significantly less" than 802.11g designs through the use of on-chip power and low-noise amplifiers and Atheros' "Wake on Wireless" and Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery technologies.
The following initial Align products target the low-cost notebook, netbook, home networking and consumer electronics (CE) markets:
AR9285 - single-chip PCI Express (PCIe) solution for notebook and netbook designs.
AR9002AP-1S - two chip wireless AP/router solution using the AR9285 and the new AR7240 network processor System-on-Chip (SOC).
AR7240 - network processor System-on-Chip (SOC) with integrated 5-port 10/100 switch. The AR7240 features a MIPS32 24K processor core, 64KB of instruction memory cache, a high speed 16-bit Double-Data-Rate (DDR) memory interface and can handle single and dual-stream designs.
AR9271 - single-chip USB solution for home gateways, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, printers, wireless USB adapters for notebooks and desktops and other embedded wireless products.
The AR9002AP-1S chipset for AP/Routers and AR9285 single chip for PCs are sampling now. The AR9271 embedded USB solution will begin sampling in late Q4 2008.