Upping the ante for mobile devices, Atheros offers a series of chips that consume almost no standby power: In recent years, every new chip design for mobile devices focuses on three factors: integration, or the number of features backed into one chip to reduce the cost, form factor, and power use of multiple chips; size; and standby/idle power. That last can be the killer. You can have tiny chips, but if they pull several percentage points of the in-use power to maintain status on a network or scan for networks, it's hard to get out of the gate.
With less power consumed, the longer lived a mobile device is, and the more likely a manufacturer is to design high-bandwidth uses. Atheros's AR6002 series (single-band g, dual-band a/g) consumers what the company calls "near-zero standby power," and 70 percent less than competing offerings in active mode. Their two examples are that the chip could be used on a standard phone to provide 100 hours of VoIP or download 200 GB of data.
Chips will ship in quantity in the first quarter of 2008.