[Beowulf] Wireless clusters (Bridging 802.11a)

Jim Lux james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Jan 15 10:05:19 EST 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "alvin" <alvin at iplink.net>
To: "Jim Lux" <James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov>
Cc: <dwu at swales.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 5:42 AM
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Wireless clusters (Bridging 802.11a)

> J>>
> >>
> >prism chipset for a while.
> >
> >While the prism chipset is interesting (for other reasons, particularly
> >Prism2, not so much 2.5 and 3 or even newer ones), they do not support
> >802.11a at 5GHz form of wireless LAN. (for what it's worth, the prism set
> >interesting because it was originally a Harris product, then Intersil,
> >now GlobespanVirata. However, Harris has a long history of making
> >military/space qualified components, and it turns out that the Prism 2
> >set is made on a fab line that is compatible with radiation tolerant
> >processes)
> >
> >
> Just took a cruse through the GlobespanVirata site and it looks like
> they have a new chipset that will do most of the various 802.11 protocols.
> I wonder if there are linux drivers or programming information available
> yet. I hope they have not gone the same way of the other chipset
> manufacturers bykeeping the programming inerface propritary.

You'll note that there are no datasheets on the Globespan Virata web site.
Just block diagrams, and a page to contact marketing.  Their latest
offerings are highly integrated, and the details of the onchip processor
doing the backend stuff are proprietary.

> will you require a radation hardened product if you get to production?

Probably not radiation hard, just radiation tolerant.  TID of, say, 20-100
kRad, no latchup (or, some decent form of latchup mitigation).

For now, though, this is just a proof of concept prototype to show that a
wireless interconnect can work in this particular application.
Down the road a bit, moderate integration RFICs (such as in the Prism II
chipset) that are radiation tolerant would be of great interest (of course,
by then, the masks will be 10 years old and you'll have to buy the fab line
on E-bay<grin>.. such is life when designing flight hardware)

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