Broadcom Packs More Processing Into 802.11ac SoCs

Broadcom announced two new 802.11ac chips at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today: the BCM43602, a 3x3 MIMO SoC that offloads WiFi processing from host platforms; and the BCM 43569, a dual-band 2x2 MIMO combo chip that Broadcom executives say will eliminate the potential for interference between simultaneous WiFi and Bluetooth signals.

When Broadcom began the push behind its 802.11ac chips in 2012, it deemed the technology "5G WiFi," and company executives said demand for the emerging standard, with its greater data rates and range, and lower power consumption, would come from applications like video streaming.

Broadcom hasn't wavered, continuing to wear the 5G WiFi marketing moniker, and continuing to add more innovation with the aim of enabling high bandwidth applications, particularly high quality video and online gaming.

The BCM43602 runs the complete wireless LAN driver, thus freeing up host platforms, like in-home routers or gateways or set-top boxes, for other applications. The chip can provide video processing, running security applications like a firewall, and generally run the IP stack, said Rahul Patel, Vice President of Marketing for Broadcom Wireless Connectivity Combos.The SOC also supports next generation beam forming, more radio frequencies, and intelligent quality of service for more reliable video streaming, Patel said.

The BCM43569 is a dual-band 2x2 MIMO combo chip with a Bluetooth low-noise amplifier (LNA) and what Patel called an "advanced coexistence" scheme, or algorithms that let smart TVs or over-the-top media boxes receive WiFi and Bluetooth signals simultaneously, say from remotes, game controllers, surround-sound speakers, 3D glasses and so on), without the potential for interference.

Both SoCs are now sampling.

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  • ddpruitt
    That's a little scary given that I've never had a Broadcom device with drivers that worked the first time around. Dropped connections, low speed, not connecting, etc. Broadcom needs to work on their software a bit more. I hope that more OEMs switch away from them and go with other vendors instead.
  • nhat11
    @ddpruitt I MUCH have broadcom over atheros. Atheros can be so crappy at times.
  • tomaz99
    Yeah...Broadcom, Atheros...this is so interesting...

    About as interesting as discussing refrigerator condenser coils...