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World’s First Integrated 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLAN Dual-Band Chipset Produced on UMC’s 0.18-Micron CMOS Process

26 June 2002 – Reading, UK and Hsinchu, Taiwan – Synad, a fabless chip start-up focused on wireless networking, has taken delivery of a working implementation of Mercury5G, the world’s first two-chip dual band WLAN chipset, from semiconductor foundry partner UMC (NYSE: UMC).

The integrated chipset is part of Synad’s Mercury5G solution, which enables client interoperability and roaming between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless local area networks (WLANs). Mercury5G also includes protocol software, operating system drivers, a developers kit and reference designs.

The Mercury5G chipset comprises two devices, a radio-chip (SYRF8100) and modem/MAC-chip (SYBB8200). Both devices have been manufactured on UMC’s 0.18-micron CMOS process, with the RF chip utilising UMC’s RFCMOS enhancements.

"Synad has made a strategic choice in the selection of CMOS technology because of its inherent low cost of manufacture and wide availability.

UMC's 0.18-micron CMOS technology has enabled us to create efficient RF circuits at 5GHz and beyond without compromising performance. Creating a single chip, dual band radio is a world first and sets the industry standard for dual band WLAN. UMC's support has been instrumental in our
silicon success,” said Ashok Dhuna, chief technical officer (CTO), Synad.

Mercury5G’s high level of integration delivers minimum system costs and enables manufacturers to build a dual band client solution for a comparable cost to a single band solution.

The all CMOS direct conversion (Zero IF) dual band radio chip supports WLAN standards in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Highly integrated and requiring no external baseband filtering components, it exceeds the performance requirements for both the 5 GHz IEEE 802.11a and 2.4 GHz IEEE
802.11b standards.

Mercury5G also delivers the architectural flexibility in terms of processor headroom, memory and software structure to support emerging standards such as IEEE 802.11g as they are ratified, and to enable end equipment manufacturers to develop innovative client solutions.

“UMC recognises Synad’s leadership in dual band technology and is delighted to have cooperated with them on this project. The success of Synad’s Mecury5G chipset showcases UMC’s leadership in radio, analogue and mixed-signal 0.18-micron CMOS technology,” said Fu Tai Liou, chief officer
of worldwide sales and marketing, UMC.

Mercury5G is based on Synad’s patent pending AgileRF architecture, devised by Synad to deliver client interoperability between IEEE 802.11 standards, bringing a new class of connectivity and usability without compromising performance.

About Synad

Synad was founded in July 2000 on a vision of pervasive broadband wireless connectivity through the rapid development of low-cost mass-market CMOS chips for the wireless networking industry.

Based in the UK, one of the strongest centres in the world for wireless design, Synad has a growing team of over 50 staff today and is focussed on fulfilling its vision through the development of advanced technologies and products for Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN).

Synad’s first product is Mercury5G, a dual band WLAN solution comprising of a radio-chip (SYRF8100), a modem/MAC-chip (SYBB8200), protocol software, a developers kit and reference designs.

Mercury5G is based on Synad’s patent pending AgileRF architecture, devised by Synad to deliver interoperability between IEEE 802.11 standards without compromising data throughput, range or performance. Synad can be found on the web at http://www.synad.com

About UMC

UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a world-leading semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced process ICs for applications spanning every major sector of the semiconductor industry. UMC delivers the cutting-edge foundry technologies that enable sophisticated system-on-chip (SOC) designs, including 130nm (0.13um) copper/low k, embedded DRAM, and mixed signal/RF CMOS. In addition, UMC is a leader in 300mm manufacturing with three strategically located 300mm fabs to serve our global customer base:

Fab 12A in Taiwan, UMCi in Singapore (completion in early 2002), and AU Pte. Ltd., a joint venture facility with AMD that is also located in Singapore (production in 2005). UMC employs over 8,500 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United
States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com


Images: Please contact zpasierbinska@rainierco.co.uk for photos of the
chipset

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