Broadcom Brings NFC And Wireless Audio Integration To IoT Market

The Internet of Things (IoT) market seems to be getting more attention from chip makers and major tech companies these days, as everyone is waiting in anticipation for the market from explosive growth, from which they can all profit.

Broadcom has begun integrating certain popular technologies such as NFC into its main SoCs. This saves money and development time for its OEMs customers compared to having to buy the same technology implemented separately from the main SoCs.

This time, Broadcom focused on integrating dual-band Wi-Fi into its audio SoC, and NFC into its Bluetooth/Wi-Fi chip.

According to Broadcom, the new audio SoC comes with the following range of features and benefits:

Industry's first dual-band Wi-Fi audio SoCOffers support for Apple AirPlay™ to enable media streaming from iOS devicesExtends 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity to audio speakers Integrates WICED Audio SDK for a variety of HD audio applicationsDelivers low-power 1x1 802.11n WLAN SoC to OEMsIncludes on-chip 320MHz ARM CR4 applications CPU for audio speaker marketCPU includes 32KB each of instruction and data caches, along with 2MB of TCM RAMOffers DDR3L memory and Q-SPI Serial flash interfaces for applications and streaming content buffering

The new Broadcom BCM43907 chip can deliver HD audio streaming with fewer interferences for a cleaner audio experience. Advanced radio frequency and timing synchronization can also enable the content to be streamed over multiple speakers in different rooms, without any lag.

Today, Broadcom also announced the integration of NFC into its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart-capable BCM43341 chip, which should help the company sell that chip as a more complete wireless solution to its customers.

NFC has been in use for the past few years, although it hasn't become mainstream quite yet. The technology can be used to send any kind of information, such as credit card payments, at a short range from one phone to another, or from a phone to a terminal. Apple Pay, which uses NFC, is expected to become a strong catalyst for the mainstream usage of NFC, which should increase the business opportunity for Broadcom and its competitors.

Broadcom is especially interested in promoting the use of NFC in smart homes along with IoT devices, as well as for medical devices that may not even have a display, which is where NFC could come in handy.

Broadcom said that the new wireless chips with NFC integration are already in production, while the new audio chip with Wi-Fi integration is being sampled to early access customers.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.