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Atheros Communications Announces Industry's First Open Source Simple Configuration Software for Personal Wireless LANs.

JumpStart for Wireless(TM) Offers Broad-Based Device Interoperability for Simple, Secure WLAN Configuration

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atheros Communications, Inc. , a leading developer of advanced wireless solutions, today announced that the company will offer its JumpStart for Wireless security configuration software on an open-source basis for free use by anyone in the WLAN industry. The availability of the JumpStart Developer's Kit marks the first time that all the elements needed by customers to create and offer a user-friendly WLAN security setup system have been provided in open source form.

"We're taking aggressive steps to make our secure configuration software available on an open source basis because it benefits the wireless LAN industry as a whole and therefore helps Atheros and our customers," said Craig Barratt, president and chief executive officer of Atheros Communications.

"Customers have expressed concern about getting locked into proprietary security systems that limit hardware choices. JumpStart's ability to work with virtually any silicon solution avoids this problem as well as the fragmentation that would occur if every silicon vendor introduces a different configuration system. We fully support the Wi-Fi Alliance's work toward developing an industry-standard security setup system. Until that standard becomes available, JumpStart is an excellent option for any WLAN product vendor wishing to offer a simple and secure network configuration experience that supports a wide variety of devices on a broad array of platforms."

JumpStart leverages the protocol underlying today's secure e-commerce transactions (the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol) along with other proven industry-standard protocols. While these protocols make it possible to achieve enterprise-class WLAN security, designing a secure system that is also easy to use has proven challenging for vendors. JumpStart eliminates this challenge by providing a pre-packaged solution that is readily available in open source form.

Built from the ground up to provide broad interoperability, JumpStart works with a wide array of WLAN silicon solutions-not only Atheros chipsets, but also those from Intel (Centrino), Marvell and Broadcom. It also works with a broad range of platforms including laptop PCs, cell phones, cameras, printers and MP3 players. JumpStart also supports profile management tools such as Microsoft Wireless Zero Configuration.

Major vendors support JumpStart

Major WLAN equipment vendors have already embraced JumpStart and are supporting Atheros' decision to provide the software in open source form. "When selling technology to the mass market consumer, security and ease of use are of top priority," said Brian Larsen, director of wireless product management for D-Link, a leading US-based networking manufacturer. "D-Link is a standards-based manufacturer and we support Atheros' efforts to offer solutions that don't rely on proprietary security schemes which create lock-in on the hardware side."

"At Corega, our mission is to serve our end users with products that are simple, secure and offer the flexibility consumers require as they add a complete array of devices to their personal WLANs," said Sho Katoh, President of Corega, a major Japan-based access-point supplier. "JumpStart helps us satisfy these customer needs with a solution that we hope will be adopted by WLAN vendors worldwide."

JumpStart Developer's Kit and logo

The JumpStart Developer's Kit comprises a set of software components for WLAN clients and access points (APs) as well as an application programming interface (API) for working with client-based applications. With these components, systems vendors can implement the JumpStart simple configuration system with little additional effort.

Additionally, vendors who want to convey the networking interoperability of their products may obtain from Atheros a license to use the JumpStart logo after proving that their JumpStart implementations interoperate with existing JumpStart-enabled devices. The logo will help consumers identify products that offer easy-to-configure security supporting a broad array of devices.

Atheros is committed to maintaining and enhancing the JumpStart code into the future. Further, the company welcomes contributions from the developer community for adding improvements and new functionality, which will be posted for use under an OSI certified open source license. JumpStart for Wireless is now OSI Certified Open Source Software.

The JumpStart open source code, license and supporting materials will be available from SourceForge, at http://jumpstart-wl.sourceforge.net/ .

About Atheros Communications, Inc.

Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless communications products. Atheros combines its wireless systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufacturable on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is being used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer and networking equipment manufacturers. For more information, visit http://www.atheros.com/ or send email to info@atheros.com.

NOTE: Atheros, the Atheros logo, and JumpStart for Wireless are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements regarding the features, performance and benefits of Atheros' JumpStart for Wireless solution and the potential applications of JumpStart; and the expected market trend towards more types of devices integrating WLAN technology, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, difficulties in the development of new products and upgraded products, including JumpStart; unforeseen problems in the performance and integration of JumpStart with various WLAN devices; whether JumpStart will be successfully interoperable and compatible with devices that use configuration and security features and WLAN chips other than Atheros'; whether customers will find JumpStart easy to configure and install; and other risks detailed in Atheros' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 as filed with the SEC and in other reports filed with the SEC by Atheros from time to time. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Atheros disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Cheryl Patstone of Atheros, +1-408-773-5344, or cheryl@atheros.com; or Greg Wood of A&R Partners, +1-650-762-2838, or gwood@arpartners.com, for Atheros

Web site: http://www.atheros.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 2, 2005
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