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WUSB chipset supports Linux-based devices

Jan 8, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Alereon is shipping a wireless USB (WUSB) chip targeting mobile devices and PC peripherals. The AL4300 is available with Linux drivers, and is said to be the first WUSB chip to integrate the host interface, MAC (media access controller), and baseband processor into a single chip.

Wireless USB was recently listed among a handful of “Hot Tech Trends” for 2007, by market research firm In-Stat. The emerging technology aims to implement the same functionality as standard wired USB (universal serial bus) — but with radios, instead of cabling.

Alereon says its AL4300 WUSB chip can be combined with its AL4100 RF (radio frequency) transceiver chip to create a complete device-oriented wireless USB subsystem. The subsystem is said to comply with both the Certified Wireless USB 1.0 specification and the PHY version 1.0 spec from WiMedia.

Alereon AL4100 and AL4300 typical implementation
(Click to enlarge)

Touted features of the AL4300/AL4100 include:

  • Glueless host processor connection:
    • Supports CompactFlash+, parallel local bus, and SDIO host interfaces
    • Claimed data transfers of 200Mbps over SDIO
  • Supports “all WiMedia data rates from 53Mbps to 480Mbps”
  • Minimal host processor usage
  • Interoperable with the Intel Wireless UWB Link 1480 Media Access Controller (MAC) and the NEC uPD720170 Certified Wireless USB Host Controller
  • “Wireless-on-the-Go” capability supports file transfers with other WUSB devices.

CEO Eric Broockman stated, “It is exciting to be the first company to announce a complete Wireless USB chipset for embedded applications.”


The Alereon AL4300 is available now, in a 10mm square, 144-pin BGA package, priced at $13.31 in 10,000 unit quantities.

An AL4500 Software Development Kit with drivers for Linux and Microsoft Windows XP is also available. Drivers for Windows CE, Windows Mobile 5, and Windows Mobile 6 are said to be available from third parties.

Alereon also offered a Linux dev kit for its earlier AL4000 WUSB chipset.

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