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Atheros Encores New 802.11n Single-Chip to Deliver Highest Performance Wi-Fi in Multimedia Home Gateways

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atheros Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced two single-chip 802.11n solutions developed expressly for the carrier gateway market. The new dual-band, 2.4GHz/5GHz, AR9220 and single-band, 2.4GHz AR9223 PCI designs join the comprehensive Atheros XSPAN(TM) family, the world's most widely adopted draft 802.11n Wi-Fi solutions. These latest 802.11n designs provide reliable, market-proven performance at price points that allow carriers to broadly deploy home gateways capable of supporting data, voice and video on a single wireless network. They are the second implementation of Atheros' new single-chip 11n design which follows last month's introduction of the company's half-mini card for PCI Express (PCIe), the world's most integrated, compact 802.11n solution for PCs.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Atheros Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced two single-chip 802.11n solutions developed expressly for the carrier gateway market. The new dual-band, 2.4GHz/5GHz, AR9220 and single-band, 2.4GHz AR9223 PCI designs join the comprehensive Atheros XSPAN(TM) family, the world's most widely adopted draft 802.11n Wi-Fi solutions. These latest 802.11n designs provide reliable, market-proven performance at price points that allow carriers to broadly deploy home gateways capable of supporting data, voice and video on a single wireless network. They are the second implementation of Atheros' new single-chip 11n design which follows last month's introduction of the company's half-mini card for PCI Express (PCIe), the world's most integrated, compact 802.11n solution for PCs.

The new, cost-effective AR9220 and AR9223 11n PCI designs will bring the highest-performance WLAN technology to a broader base of subscribers in significantly more robust gateway products. Routers based on these new XSPAN PCI solutions will deliver 10 times the throughput and nearly twice the range of legacy 802.11g and 802.11a/g networks, resulting in optimal coverage throughout the home. This enhanced performance will enable carriers to reliably deliver an array of multimedia services to subscriber homes, increasing the average revenue per unit (ARPU) and assuring subscribers a higher quality experience to enhance user satisfaction and reduce costly support calls.

Best-of-Breed Partnerships

Atheros is a leading supplier of wireless solutions to the carrier gateway market. Its partnerships with leading broadband communications IC companies and collaborations with gateway software vendors result in best-of-breed, turnkey system solutions. These designs allow carrier equipment manufacturers to quickly and cost-effectively deliver an array of high-performance, wireless-enabled residential gateways, ranging from low-cost, entry-level models, to advanced multimedia networking gateways and set-top boxes. Atheros' single-chip 802.11g solutions are already featured in numerous products from the top broadband gateway providers and provide Wi-Fi connectivity in homes worldwide.

According to Dell'Oro Group, the market for 802.11n residential gateways is expected to grow to almost 64 million units in 2011(1). As service providers look to expand delivery of rich media services to consumers, 11n provides the best end-user experience for wireless home broadband connections today.

"Atheros' new single-chip XSPAN solutions for PCI allow carriers to deploy wireless triple-play gateways to a broader subscriber base at competitive price points," said Mike Stauffer, director of carrier marketing and business development for Atheros. "Our new AR9220 and AR9223 chips offer the industry's best throughput, reliability and coverage to deliver content-rich, multimedia networking in the digital home."

Performance/Price Design Options

The 2×2, dual-band and single-band MIMO options enable carriers to select price/ performance vectors for their mid-tier and higher-end gateway product offerings. The AR9220 dual-band, 2×2 MIMO, PCI design is ideal for high-end, multiplay gateways and set-top boxes, which must robustly support multimedia applications requiring uninterrupted throughput — IPTV, HD video streaming, VoIP calls and multi-player online gaming on the 5GHz channel-while using the 2.4GHz band for simple data networking. This solution provides leading 802.11a/g/n performance, supporting up to 300 Mbps physical data rates and 200 Mbps of actual user throughput on both the uplink and the downlink. With the dual-band design, users will enjoy universal connectivity to any 802.11 device through their gateway or set-top box.

The AR9223 single-band, 2×2 MIMO PCI design brings high-performance 802.11n throughput levels into basic home gateways with up to 300 Mbps physical data rates. The single-band option offers carriers a natural migration path from 11g to 11n in the 2.4GHz band, and is well-suited for applications less sensitive to bandwidth limitations and interference, such as web surfing, VoIP calls, audio streaming and wireless printing.

The PCI interface allows for direct integration on DSL motherboards, easing carrier manufacturers' design cycles to accelerate time-to-market. The chips also feature advanced power efficiencies for greener gateways that reduce energy consumption. Atheros XSPAN features Bluetooth(R) coexistence mechanisms that enable smooth, simultaneous operation of Wi-Fi and the many Bluetooth-enabled devices found in today's homes.

Advanced Networking Features to Enhance User Experience

Atheros' AR9220 and AR9223 feature advanced networking algorithms that provide Quality-of-Service (QoS) for carriers to deploy the most media-capable home gateway solutions on the market.

— Atheros' Optimized Rate Adaptation Algorithms are introduced in these latest solutions to more robustly support advanced multimedia networking in the home. They are designed to provide the appropriate throughput levels to assure optimal wireless capacity for fluid delivery of video and voice. The protocol intelligently selects and delivers the ideal data rate for each task and modifies the throughput accordingly. — IPTV Multicast Delivery is another Atheros QoS technology utilized to achieve smooth, uninterrupted broadcast transmissions from XSPAN-enabled gateways. This advanced networking technique results in the most efficient and reliable delivery of IPTV and other media content to ensure the most satisfying user experience.

Atheros-Class 802.11n Integration

The AR9220 and AR9223 for carrier gateway customers are the industry's most-integrated solutions today, combining the radio, baseband/MAC and PCI interface into a single-chip to maximize cost efficiencies. Higher board integration results in substantially fewer RBOM components than any competing 11n solutions.

Product Configurations and Availability

The configurations launched today offer performance and price options consisting of the:

— AR9220: 11n dual-band 2×2 MIMO for PCI — AR9223: 11n single-band 2×2 MIMO for PCI

These solutions are based on the same Atheros XSPAN technology which comprises, in part, the Wi-Fi Alliance Draft 802.11n test bed, and have been Wi-Fi CERTIFIED(TM). The new designs support Linux(R) operating systems and comply with industry standards WMM(R) (Wi-Fi Multimedia(TM)) and Wi-Fi Protected Setup(TM) with Atheros' JumpStart for Wireless(TM), the company's simple network configuration software.

The Atheros AR9220 and AR9223 solutions will be sampling to customers in January 2008 and will be featured at the Atheros Booth, #35349 at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas.

About Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless and other network communications products. Atheros combines its wireless and networking systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufactured on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer, networking equipment and consumer device manufacturers. For more information, please visit http://www.atheros.com or send email to info@atheros.com.

Atheros, the Atheros logo, XSPAN and JumpStart for Wireless are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements regarding the features, benefits and performance of Atheros' AR9220 and AR9223 solutions, the expected timing of sampling of these products, and the projected growth of the market for 802.11n residential gateways, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, difficulties in the development and production of new and enhanced products, the effects of competition and technological change, general economic conditions, and the risks detailed in Atheros' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2007, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other reports filed with the SEC by Atheros from time to time. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Atheros disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Although we believe that the forward-looking statistical information from Dell'Oro Group is reliable, we have not independently verified this data. Dell'Oro Group generally indicates that it has obtained its information from sources believed to be reliable, but does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information.

(1) "WLAN 5-Year Forecast Report" Dell'Oro Group, July 2007

SOURCE Atheros Communications, Inc.

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