Broadcom Introduces 5th-Gen Wi-Fi Combo Chip for Mobile

Broadcom Corporation introduced on Wednesday the BCM4335, the "industry's first" complete 5th-generation Wi-Fi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices. Based on the 802.11ac standard, it's supposedly the only combo chip in the industry that addresses the unique interference challenges in systems with both 4G LTE cellular radios and wireless connectivity.

"5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously," the company said. "With 3X faster speeds, consumers can download web content from a mobile device, and synch large files such as videos, in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode quickly and, as a result, are up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions."

Broadcom first introduced its 5G WiFi chips for access points and PCs back in January during CES 2012. The company then followed up with combo chips for the world's first 5G WiFi routers and notebooks in Q2 2012. Smartphones and tablets powered by the company's new BCM4335 are now slated to hit store shelves in Q1 2013.

Broadcom said the new chip integrates a complete 5G WiFi system — including the MAC, PHY and RF — with Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single chip using 40-nm CMOS process. The platform-agnostic design and integration of the MAC, PHY and RF allows the BCM4335 to be added to any smartphone or tablet regardless of the application processor used. And thanks to the 40-nm CMOS processing, they're smaller and more power efficient than the previous versions.

"The BCM4335 introduces the newest version of Broadcom's wireless coexistence technology," the company said. "Handset makers can use this technology on 4G LTE cellular platforms to minimize the possibility of radio interference between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE, which operate in adjacent radio frequencies. Broadcom's Global Coexistence Interface supports the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's LTE coexistence scheme and can be applied to future Broadcom LTE platforms, as well as 4G cellular platforms from other vendors."

The company said that the new chip features built-in media processing to off-load the host processor, integrated support for Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint technologies, PHY rates of 433 Mb/s which significantly boosts the wireless throughput compared to previous generation wireless solutions, advanced beamforming, Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC) code and Space-Time Block Code (STBC), and more.

The BCM4335 is now sampling to Broadcom's early access customers, with full production expected in Q1 2013. For more information about the 5th-gen WiFi chip for smartphones, tables and other mobile devices, head here.

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  • Nesto1000
    This is nice and all, but I hope that cellphone companies and carriers don't use that as a marketing gimmick to convince people to buy a phone. They might be tempted to say that it's a 5g phone and then people will think "Oh this is 5g? It must be faster than this 4g phone! Let me get this one instead!" when they're just comparing oranges to apples.
  • game junky
    Though it is exciting to see them working on deploying 802.11ac, I don't think I will get a significant benefit from the additional speed unless I am streaming media from an internal network device. This will really be a game changer for HTPC's streaming from another workgroup/network computer though. I have a large collection of media that I stream through my 360 and ps3 in my living room. I was worried about attempting to rip bluray video because I didn't think my N-band was going to be good enough to minimize buffering. I'll definitely give it a try once this goes to market next year
  • memadmax
    I like that they are working on faster speeds...

    But I think now is the time to work on farther ranges.
  • superp
    it's a much faster way to get charged $10 per Gb
  • tului
    I hate xG nomenclature. But I suppose it sells to the idiotic masses, 5G must be better than 4G, I'll buy it. Morons in the boardroom selling to morons in their living rooms.
  • schriss
    Briiliant! My Broadband is 125Mbps and when browsing youTube or streaming from my NAS drive, Smartphone WiFi is just way too slow. It works OK, but improvement like 802.11ac will be very much welcomed.
    Just don't fall into that "dramatically improved range" as it's a lie, range is not changed at all, but the speed is, quite a lot.