Mobile

Broadcom packs high-speed 5G Wi-Fi into a single chip for smartphones

Above: Broadcom mobile wireless WiFi

Image Credit: Broadcom

Broadcom, the multibillion-dollar communications chip maker, wants to elbow its way into smartphones. And it is planning to do so by announcing the first advanced 5G Wi-Fi combination chips for smartphones.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company is announcing its chip, which can double the wireless networking performance of a smartphone while improving its power efficiency, at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona today.

The new chip will double throughput for faster video and music downloads on a wireless device. The chip’s 2×2 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology makes use of interference to improve overall bandwidth, and it improves power efficiency up to 25 percent when using Wi-Fi over 1×1 MIMO chips. And the chip increases wireless coverage by up to 30 percent compared to current chips.

The Broadcom BCM4354 system-on-a-chip uses the Wi-Fi 802.11ac protocol to transfer data. Its aim is to provide a faster, always-on smartphone experience that parallels the desktop experience. Broadcom said it can overcome past interference problems that slow down wireless networks.

“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 of marketing for wireless connectivity combos, in a statement.

Broadcom also uses Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology to get better rates and range in congested environments. That helps with photo and video uploads for social networking sites in crowded sporting events or concerts. The chip is now in production.

Last week, Broadcom also announced a new LTE (Long-Term Evolution) platform chip set aimed at the sub-$300 smartphone market. It will compete in that market with rivals like Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. That chip delivers “category 4″ speeds up to 150 megabits per second on FDD-LTE and TD-LTE networks.

Broadcom also demonstrated a “category 6″ LTE-Advanced chip set with wireless data networking speeds up to 300 megabits a second. Broadcom demoed the technology with Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) and Finnish wireless operator Elisa.

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