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Atheros Announces New Router/Powerline Hybrid Device

Powerline networking may be gaining popularity as an easy method for users seeking to wire up their PCs and devices to the internet with an Ethernet connection, but doing so requires a certain startup cost. And this is precisely the type of ‘startup cost’ for users that Atheros is looking to bypass with its new hybrid device, which combines both WiFi and powerline networking into a single package.

Read on to find out more.

Have you tried out powerline networking before? For those who have, the ability to connect any device via a wired Ethernet connection regardless of location is definitely one of the strongest selling points which the interface has to offer for users.

However, the convenience of being able to hook up to a wired network anywhere comes with a certain price to pay. In order to set up a fully functional network connection over existing power lines, users need to purchase an additional powerline adaptor to serve as the transmitter from the router, in addition to those that are needed for every subsequent device which will be connected to the network via powerline networking.

And as far as Atheros is concerned, the purchase of an additional powerline homeplug adaptor is additional cost which can be avoided. To that end, the company has announced a new product known as the Hybrid Router.

Like most traditional home routers, it features support for both WiFi and Ethernet-based connections, but with a little extra bonus added in: it also serves as the base transmitter for powerline networking. This essentially means that the very act of plugging the Hybrid Router into an electric socket sets your home up for both WiFi, Ethernet and Powerline networking, sans the need to purchase an additional homeplug to perform the third feature.

Unfortunately, Atheros has stated that it will not be the one to market the products for retail. Instead, the company will release its reference designs to its lead customers, who will in turn be responsible for producing the devices suitable for retail. As such, no prices for such devices will be forthcoming for a while, although Atheros has stated that retail products based on its reference designs should available by the second half of 2011.

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