Broadcom's 2x2 MIMO Chip for Faster Wi-Fi, Lower Power

On Monday, Broadcom Corporation introduced a dual-band combo chip for smartphones and tablets that supports 802.11ac (5G Wi-Fi) 2x2 Multi In Multi Out (MIMO), Bluetooth (BT) 4.1/BLE, and Rezence wireless charging. Called the BCM4354, device manufacturers can now deliver twice the Wi-Fi performance of 1x1 MIMO devices sold on the market today, and reduce power consumption by as much as 25 percent.

"With Broadcom's advanced antenna and PHY design, the BCM4354 can now deliver the benefits of 5G WiFi 2x2 MIMO to smaller platform designs like smartphones while reducing implementation complexity for designers," the company reports. "This achievement enables the industry's first practical implementation of 2x2 MIMO on a smartphone, opening the door for a new market segment."

Broadcom's new SoC features its Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology that allows smartphone users in congested environments (concert, football game) to upload photos and videos to social websites twice as fast as 1x1 MIMO devices. There's also one version of the chip that supports Rezence wireless power charging technology, which was developed by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP).

Broadcom reports that all versions of the BCM4354 feature a full software platform including support for Android, Windows and Chrome-based operating systems. The BCM4354 family also packs an FM receiver, allowing smartphone owners to listen to their favorite stations while out and about.

On a more technical level, the list of highlights include SDIO 3.0 and low-power PCIe host interfaces for WLAN; UART and USB for BT. The chips also have an 867 Mbps PHY rate (80 MHz channel bandwidth), Load Density Parity Check Codes (LDPC), Space Time Block Coding (STBC), TurboQAM and high-accuracy indoor location.

"Smartphones have become the epicenter of today's digital life and consumers are demanding ever increasing levels of performance and sophistication," said Dino Bekis, Broadcom Vice President, Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combos.  "As the leader in wireless connectivity solutions, Broadcom continues to deliver unprecedented features and capabilities to this demanding and rapidly growing market."

Broadcom reports that the BCM4354 is now in production.