A combination logic design for a high speed IEEE 802.11 MAC controller

Ren Zong Li*, Shang Pin Huang, Fu Shung Lin, Ming Tsung Hong, Po-Ning Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a pure combinational logic design for the implementation of IEEE802.11 Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol, in contrast to firmware implementation based on an embedded micro-engine. In order to have a timely response, a Control Frame Handler is also included in our MAC controller. A further improvement for timely manipulation on the time-critical management frames (such as Beacon, ATIM and Probe Response) is subsequently developed in our revised edition. Equipped with a self-developed PCMCIA unit, the functions of our MAC controller have been verified using two Altera EPF 10K-100 ARC240–2 FPGAs in an on-line MAC-to-MAC data exchange fashion. Experimental results show that a pure combinational logic design can easily achieve a baseband-interfacing throughput of over-100Mbps with a cost-effect gate count of 21702.


  • IEEE 802.11
  • Medium access control
  • Wireless local area network


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