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Broadcom is unveiling new 5G Wi-Fi chips for home networking devices that can triple the typical bandwidth for wireless Internet access in the home.

The Irvine, Calif.-based chip maker made the announcement at the 2014 International CES trade show that takes place this week in Las Vegas.

The new wireless combo chip will make it easier to stream video through routers, gateways, set-top boxes, digital TVs, and game consoles in the home. That’s important as web-based video usage explodes in the home, thanks to video streaming services like Netflix.

Broadcom is providing two new chips for 5G Wi-Fi systems that will help alleviate the logjam in homes as more devices — such as remotes, speakers, and game controllers — use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The chips can reduce interference when one person plays an online game and another streams a movie to a tablet or smart TV.

The BCM43569 wireless networking chip lets a smart TV receive both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals simultaneously. And Broadcom’s BCM43602 chip offloads a lot of processing from a central processing unit (CPU) for Wi-Fi networking. Both chips support beamforming, or taking advantage of noise to increase available bandwidth.

“As the first company to deliver 5G Wi-Fi across all product segments, Broadcom continues to lead innovation and engineer even more powerful next-generation 5G Wi-Fi products that support today’s content-hungry consumer,” Rahul Patel, vice president of marketing for wireless connectivity combos at Broadcom, told VentureBeat in an interview. “Our new advanced solutions bring consumers an elevated video streaming experience across the wirelessly connected home and provide OEMs with the benefits of improved system cost and form factor.”

“By the end of 2014, 802.11ac is expected to be included in more than 50 percent of total Wi-Fi ICs shipped,” said Phil Solis, research director at market research firm ABI Research. “By maximizing the wireless connectivity performance in connected home devices, Broadcom continues to help drive the industry adoption of 802.11ac technology across all product segments.”

Both chips are available in prototype quantities now.


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