WiFi and need for CPU?

Hi guys,

I am sorry for my ignorance, but I noticed a lot (if not all) WiFi chipsets are sporting an ARM or other CPU (even the one in PC's!). Now I recall most Ethernet chipsets did not need a CPU (although it was advantageous).

Why is it that wifi chipsets need a CPU? Is it because of the encryption (WEP, WPA)? Or is there something else in the physical layer that cannot be handled economically in hardware?



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Isaac Bosompem
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The MAC has to handle very complex tasks (algoritmically), so it is more convenient to implement them as SW. Morover this allows to easily support new standard amendments (such as 802.11e).

Regards, A.D.

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