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Linksys and NetGear expand their 802.11n line-up: Linksys has added two inexpensive 802.11n home routers for 2.4 GHz connections. The WRT160N at $100 has 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and no external antennas in a new form factor; the $130 WRT310N upgrades to gigabit Ethernet. They also introduced inexpensive dual-band add-on adapters: the WEC600N ($80) for ExpressCard slots, the WUSB600N ($80) for USB, and the WGA600N ($90), an adapter for gaming systems like the Xbox. This is a very nice price drop to add both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11n to older computers.
NetGear, meanwhile, has expanded its line to include the WNDR3300, a $130 dual-band, 8-antenna router with a 4-port 10/100 Mbps Ethernet switch, and the WNDR3500 ($160), which is 5 GHz only and has a 5-port gigabit Ethernet switch. A $230 kit comprises two 5 GHz 802.11n access point/bridges (WNHDE111, $130 by itself) as a paired set for gaming, streaming video in HD, or other bridging purposes. NetGear also offers up a dual-band USB adapter (WNDA3100, $100). PC Magazine noted there was no ExpressCard or PC Card adapter mentioned at the show.
Chipmaker Marvell will offer 3 spatial streams in new chips, with 450 Mbps raw speed: Each spatial stream in 802.11n can hit 150 Mbps raw symbol rate when combined with 40 MHz channels. The 802.11n spec requires at least two spatial streams—two unique paths through space that reuse frequencies—but three or four are also possible, and it was predicted that 2008 would see a four-spatial stream product by year’s end with a raw 600 Mbps rate.
Marvell fires the first shot over the bow with this announcement, pre-Consumer Electronics Show (CES), tha they will ship a TopDog chipset at 450 Mbps. It won’t ship until second quarter 2008.
Expect more announcements as CES nears or at the show itself.