Networking chip giant Broadcom is unveiling a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip today that it says will double wireless networking performance for high-end smartphones and tablets.
The combo chip, BCM4358, could dramatically improve the wireless performance of mobile devices and shake the industry out of the doldrums of incremental hardware advances. Or so the company hopes. Multitasking consumers should notice faster downloads and connectivity once the chip is built into new gadgets.
Broadcom says the new chip will be the highest-performing 5G 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip available when it debuts in the third quarter. It uses second-generation 2×2 MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) wireless technology.
Broadcom says the Bluetooth connectivity will coexist with existing wireless devices, and the Wi-Fi will be able to delivery accurate indoor location. Consumers spend an estimated four to five hours a day on Wi-Fi. With the new chip, they’ll be able to download videos twice as fast and play video streams with less lag or interruptions.
“The combination of 5G WiFi and 2×2 MIMO unlocks the full potential of today’s smartphones and tablets. These technologies are becoming de facto requirements for connectivity in high-end mobile devices,” David Recker, Broadcom senior director of wireless connectivity, said in a statement.
“Broadcom was the first chip vendor to mass produce a 2X2 MIMO combo chip for smartphones and continues to drive adoption of 802.11ac in all consumer electronic segments,” said Philip Solis, Research Director, ABI Research, in a statement. “This second-generation innovation demonstrates Broadcom’s continued and substantial lead in 2×2 MIMO technology.”