Realtek Announces Multiple-Radio Feature Set in Single-Chip WiMedia-Based Ultrawideband Physical Layer Device

2006/02/06 Single-chip integration of baseband and multiple radios marks industry first, provides for highest performance

HSINCHU, Taiwan and IRVINE, Calif. – February 6, 2006 – Realtek Semiconductor Corp. (TSE: 2379), one of the world’s largest IC design houses, today announced enhanced multiple radio capabilities in its RTL8170 ultrawideband physical layer (PHY) device, based on the WiMedia Alliance PHY specification.  The device integrates two full radios and complete baseband processor, with inbuilt support for optimal combining of the radio chain outputs.  Single-chip integration of baseband processor and multiple radios marks an industry first.  In addition, the separately controllable transmit chains provide flexible support for transmit diversity techniques.  Technical details are available in the paper presented at the UWB session of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, February 6.

Multiple radio technology enables greatly increased reliability, range and coverage by combining signals from different antennas.  This greatly mitigates frequency-selective fading by allowing each antenna to contribute extra signal strength where the other antenna has received a weak signal, while maintaining full compatibility with the standard protocol.  The RTL8170 implements the optimal processing, maximal ratio combining, of the distinct signals, a technique that is well-proven in practice through its recent proliferation within wireless LAN systems.

In addition, the RTL8170 has two separately controllable transmit chains, providing the capability for an associated medium access controller (MAC) to implement transmit diversity, further exploiting spatial diversity and increasing robustness.

"Realtek's aim is to make ultrawideband performance match the state of the art in wireless communications," said Ran Yan, Senior Vice President, Wireless Communications Technologies at Realtek. "To achieve immediate user acceptance of ultrawideband technology, the performance delivered must match or surpass levels provided by other wireless technologies, even in the earliest products.  The RTL8170 was designed expressly to meet this demanding requirement."

The RTL8170 is based on the WiMedia PHY 1.1 specification, and provides comprehensive support of all WiMedia modes within the 3.1-4.8 GHz band.  This includes support for all data rates up to 480 Mbps, frequency-hopped and non-frequency hopped modes, transmit power control and link quality indication.  The RTL8170 also provides support for the standard WiMedia MAC-PHY Interface 1.0 specification, thus enabling immediate use in combination with any WiMedia-based MAC.  The all-CMOS device fits in a 7mm x 7mm package.


RTL8170 demonstration boards are currently available for early adopters.

About Realtek
Realtek Semiconductor Corp. is one of the world's leading IC providers. It designs and develops a wide range of IC products for communications network, computer peripheral, and multimedia applications. The products include 10/100/1000M Ethernet Controllers, 10/100/1000M Ethernet Switch/Gateway Controllers, 10/100/1000M Ethernet PHY transceivers, Wireless LAN Controllers & AP/Router SoC, ADSL Chips, VoIP Solutions, AC'97/High Definition Audio Codecs, Motherboard Clock Generators, LCD Monitor Controllers, and LCD TV Controllers. With advanced design expertise in RF, analog and mixed signal circuits, and strong manufacturing and system knowledge, Realtek offers full-featured, high-performance, and competitive total solutions for customers. More information on Realtek can be found on the web: