Broadcom “Afterburner” Wireless Routers Ship

Broadcom Corp. said that its new line of “Afterburner” enhanced wireless products are now shipping from manufacturers including Belkin, Buffalo, and Linksys.

Linksys announced its first wireless routers earlier this week, and Buffalo Technology disclosed its first Afterburner 802.11g router, the AirStation (WHR2-G54) in February 2004. It is priced at $199.

Broadcom’s “Afterburner” technology, first disclosed by ExtremeTech in the days before the Consumer Electronics Show in January, “closes down” the timing between packets to squirt more data throgh the constraints of the 802.11g specification, up to 40 percent throughput. The technology maintains compatibility with the 802.11 specification, Broadcom claims; the company claims that competing technologies, such as the rival Atheros “SuperG” 108-Mbit protocol, do not.

Atheros, meanwhile, uses both its basic SuperG protocol as well as a “dynamic turbo” mode that sniffs out other SuperG products and provides throughput up to 60 Mbits/s. The technology “aligns with Federal Communications Commission initiatives on Cognitive Radio”, promoting efficient sharing of the wireless spectrum, Atheros has said.

A Broadcom spokesman said it funded a study by The Tolly Group, which determined that the Atheros technology was a “bad neighbor” that interfered with 802.11g signals.

Linksys will ship three 802.11g Afterburner-enhanced products, which it calls “SpeedBooster”: a $129.99 broadband router, a $99.99 notebook adapter, and a $99.99 PCI adapter.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in ExtremeTech.

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