SPOTLIGHT: True North strong and free (and with RF expertise)

Let's see: Wavesat, Colubris, Wi-LAN--all technology-savvy Canadian companies. There are others. Ottawa-based Semiconductor Insights (SI), a research and evaluation group, analyzes more than 1,500 devices a year, so it is something when they highlight this device or that for special mention. No sooner did the Nintendo Wii arrive--indeed, on the very same day that it became available in stores--that SI's technicians tore it down to look under the hood. In its write-up about the device SI says that one point of note about the Wii is that Nintendo aims to have the system connected to the Internet at all times, even when the console is turned off, thus enabling constant update downloading. "It's interesting that Nintendo has chosen WiFi over Ethernet as the native Internet connectivity mode for the Wii," says Edward Keyes, SI's CTO. There are two components, contained on a separate board inside the console, which allow for this functionality. One is the Broadcom BCM4318 WLAN 802.11b/g transceiver and the other is the SiGe SE2521A60 power amplifier RF module for 802.11b/g standards. "Interestingly," Keyes adds, "this is the same setup that has been incorporated in the ASUS WL500G Wireless LAN router. This is a big win for SiGe and shows Ottawa has world-class RF design expertise." -SI press release with video