Broadcom and Netgear unveil Wi-Fi kit

New networking gear offers integrated Wi-Fi chip technology and higher speeds

Two manufacturers launched products this week aimed at making high-speed wireless networks easier to deploy.

Broadcom released details on Wednesday about a new "system on a chip" that supports 802.11g, Ethernet, VPN security and MIPS processing, called AirForce BCM5350.

Integrating these various features onto a single processor means that hardware manufacturers won't have to use multiple components in their wireless routers, which could mean cheaper wireless switches will soon be on the market.

The AirForce BCM5350  is now shipping, and Broadcom hopes that it will be deployed in wireless LAN hardware that is targeted at business customers.

Broadcom's device is 802.11g-compatible and will support theoretical data transfer rates of 54Mbps.

Companies that want an even faster wireless network may be interested in Netgear's latest access point. 

Netgear's WG302 Prosafe 802.11g wireless access point, unveiled on Thursday, can be boosted from 54Mbps to 108Mbps. However, this "SuperG" mode will only be accessible to client devices that are SuperG-compatible.

The WG302's power output can also be reduced so that it provides a smaller area of wireless coverage. Netgear says this makes it suitable for deployment in public Wi-Fi hot spots where the provider doesn't want the network to be accessible from outside the venue.

The WG302 will cost about £188 (excluding VAT).