News Release Details

World's First W-OFDM Based ASIC Chips Prototyped


New Chips Will Enable Wi-LAN to Establish High-Speed, Low-Cost Leadership in Lucrative Broadband Wireless Access Product Market

Calgary, Alberta
June 14, 2000

Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE:WIN), an innovator of high-speed wireless data/Internet communications, today announced that prototype application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips that use Wi-LAN's patented Wideband Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (W-OFDM) technology have been jointly developed by Wi-LAN and Philips Semiconductors as part of a licensing agreement between the two companies. 

"Efforts to develop the W-OFDM technology ASIC chips are on track and development of a prototype is an important milestone," said Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, Wi-LAN chairman and CEO. "We expect to receive the initial chips in July and to start integrating the chips into our I.WiLL(tm) W-OFDM technology broadband wireless access products for delivery as early as this fall." 

Use of the ASIC chip will enable Wi-LAN to decrease the cost of broadband wireless access products to service providers looking to deploy cost-effective broadband wireless access networks in the LMDS, MMDS (U.S.), MCS (Canada) and 3.4 to 3.6 GHz (Europe and International) licensed frequency bands and UNII unlicensed bands. 

Last week, the company announced the launch of the world's first W-OFDM customer premise equipment (CPE) and product plans for 2000 that will include W-OFDM technology-based wireless products, built with the ASIC chips, priced below U.S. $500.

To process the signal for W-OFDM and error correction, the company's CPE uses a single digital signal processor (DSP) - the Texas Instruments TI TMS3206201 - and two field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) programmed by Wi-LAN. The ASIC developed by Wi-LAN and Philips integrated the two FPGAs into a single device. The DSP is currently used for modulation, demodulation, channel estimation and correction.

Future Plans:
Wi-LAN plans to develop faster FPGAs and ASICs to exceed the full 54 megabits per second (Mbps) of the IEEE802.11a and ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2. Wi-LAN is targeting to demonstrate wireless data rates of 90 Mbps this year and 155 Mbps in 2001. Wi-LAN also plans to integrate the entire digital system into a single chip.

Philips Semiconductors, one of the world's largest semiconductor suppliers, is developing ASIC chips for Wi-LAN as part of a licensing agreement announced in 1999. The agreement gave Philips Semiconductors permission to develop, modify, make and sell W-OFDM application specific integrated circuits for the IEEE 802.11a standard. 

In July 1998, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) selected OFDM technology as the standard 802.11a for Local Area Network applications. In response to this standard, Wi-LAN agreed to license its patented W-OFDM technology to a variety of interested parties, including chipmakers and equipment manufacturers.

W-OFDM is Wi-LAN's variation on OFDM that further improves its characteristics, including allowing greater transmission speeds.

The Philips agreement marked the first license agreement of W-OFDM technology for the IEEE 802.11a standard, and was the first step towards the manufacturing of low-cost W-OFDM products. 

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