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We have successfully fabricated a prototype software defined radio (SDR) transceiver that supports both Japanese PHS and IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN). In this paper, we design an IEEE 802.11 WLAN around the SDR with its distributed and heterogeneous hybrid programmable architecture. The most difficult problem in implementing the WLAN in this way is how to meet the SIFS requirement in the IEEE 802.11 standard. This paper shows the hardware and software architecture of the prototype and how it can support the protocol processing of the IEEE 802.11 WLAN. The hybrid programmable architecture is a sophisticated combination of a general-purpose microprocessor (CPU), digital signal processors (DSPs), and programmable hardware (FPGAs). The MAC layer functions are executed on the CPU, and the PHY layer functions such as MODEM are processed by the DSP; higher-speed digital signal processes are run on the FPGA. This paper also describes an experimental evaluation of the prototype for IEEE 802.11 WLAN use.