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Networking chip designer Aquantia has created the first USB accessory that will bring higher-speed wired internet to laptops.

The universal serial bus (USB) enables a multi-gig ethernet controller for adapters, docking stations, and on-board local area networks (LANs). That means computer makers can use the chips to build high-speed internet connectivity for laptops with speeds of multiple gigabits per second.

The computer makers include Bizlink, Edimax, Goodway, and Sunrich. San Jose, California-based Aquantia makes chips that enable high-speed ethernet connectivity in the 2.5 gigabits per second to 5 gigabits per second range. That’s faster than typical wired laptop broadband connections.

Aquantia is introducing two chips, the AQtion AQC111U and AQC112U, which serve as USB to multi-gig ethernet controllers for third-party USB v3.1 adapters and docking stations.

These high-performance yet small devices enable a new class of accessories for laptop users who want mobility combined with the reliability and performance of wired multi-gig ethernet connectivity when at their desks.

The small form factor of these adapters makes them work for laptops. Transitioning the notebook market to multi-gig is a huge opportunity. Global notebook shipments for 2017 registered 161.6 million units. At the same time, the total docking station market is anticipated to reach $7.52 billion in revenue by 2024.

Further, the global docking station market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 5.42 percent over the forecast period.

The ubiquity of the USB connection also makes these new adapters and docking stations suitable for use with desktops, game consoles, home gateways, or any system with a USB 3.x port that would benefit from a high-speed network connection.

Aquantia is working with a number of manufacturers to deliver after-market multi-gig adapters and docking stations.

Aquantia will showcase the first adapters based on the AQtion AQC111U at Computex 2018. These adaptors will be available for purchase in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“The circle of Multi-Gig Ethernet influence is growing steadily. Introducing this new category to the AQtion family supports the Aquantia mission to convert all Gigabit Ethernet ports to Multi-Gig connections,” said L.K. Bhupathi, senior director of product marketing at Aquantia, in a statement. “Partnering with industry leaders like Bizlink, Edimax, Goodway, and Sunrich allows us to service an increasing number of customers with a simple, seamless upgrade path to Multi-Gig connectivity.”

The new AQtion AQC111U and AQC112U controllers offer up to 5Gbps and 2.5Gbps of connectivity, respectively, and incorporate Aquantia industry-proven AQrate PHY technology. They are the first devices to enable true multi-gig connectivity speeds over 100 meters of standard Cat 5e cabling for external ethernet solutions.

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