Please note: This project is no longer active. The website is kept online for historic purposes only.
If you´re looking for a Linux driver for your Atheros WLAN device, you should continue here .

Atheros Super A/G

Atheros Super A/G is a collection of features designed to increase the throughput and range of compatible devices. The following tries to give a first insight. Refer to http://www.super-g.com for detailed information, an FAQ and related white papers.

Bursting

Bursting allows multiple frames to be sent at once, rather than pausing after each frame. This reduces the overhead needed for transmission and thus increases the throughput. Slight modifications to the standard timing also add a bit to the throughput. Bursting is a standards-compliant feature that can be used with any Access Point.

Fast Frames

This feature increases the amount of information that can be sent per frame, also resulting in a reduction of transmission overhead. It is a proprietary feature that needs to be supported by the Access Point.

Compression

Data frames are compressed in real time using a Lempel Ziv algorithm. This is done transparently. Once this feature is enabled, compression and decompression takes place inside the chipset, without putting additional load on the host CPU.

Turbo Mode

Two channels are combined for transmission, thus theoretically offering double throughput (108 Mbps). This is a proprietary feature which has to be supported by the AP. There is a distinction between static and dynamic turbo mode:

  • Static is the dumb version: devices set to this mode stick to it until the mode is turned off.
  • Dynamic is the intelligent version: the network decides itself if it is ok to use turbo. As soon as traffic is detected on adjacent channels (which would get used in turbo mode), or when a non-turbo station joins the network, turbo mode won't be used until the situation changes again.

Turbo modes is a proprietary feature, showing its benefit only if all stations in the same network support it.

Adaptive Radio (AR)

The intelligence that is behind the dynamic turbo mode (see above). The used radio band (11g or 11a) is permanently monitored in order to decide whether turbo mode may be used or not. Sometimes this is also referred to as Adaptive Bandwidth.

eXtended Range (XR)

XR is a feature that provides better coverage for wireless networks. This is achieved by increasing the receiver sensitivity to (up to) -105dBm, which is about 20dB above what the 802.11 specifications demand. In addition, new (proprietary) data rates are introduced: 3, 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.25 MBit/s. Currently (02/06), XR is implemented for STA mode only.