SAN FRANCISCO—Broadcom Corp. Thursday (May 23) rolled out two combo chips featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi capability aimed at entry level consumer devices, including PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.
Broadcom (Irvine, Calif.) said the new chips bring the 802.11ac flavor of the standard—now found mostly in high-end products such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and HTC One smartphone—to a greater number mainstream devices. Broadcom and others bill 802.11ac technology as 5G Wi-Fi for marketing purposes.
Peter Cooney, a practice director at ABI Research, said in a statement released by Broadcom that 802.11ac chips have begun shipping in significant quantity this year. By the end of 2014, 802.11ac is expected to be included in more than 50 percent of total Wi-Fi ICs shipped, Cooney said.
"There will be rapid adoption across many devices with high end smartphones, laptops and tablets leading the race," Cooney said.
According to Rahul Patel, vice president of product marketing for Broadcom's Wireless Connectivity Combo Group, the BCM43162 and BCM4339 are the result of significantly greater integration, reducing overall cost. The new chips offer the same range, performance and power consumption benefits as Broadcom's flagship 5G Wi-Fi combo chip, the BCM4335, but integrate the complete front-end, power amplifier and low noise amplifier, he said.
"The goal here is largely to bring 5G Wi-Fi into entry level products," Patel said. "This means we have not compromised on the performance vector but striven to bring optimization on a cost vector."
Broadcom described the BCM43162 as a PCIe client solution for PCs and notebooks with support for Microsoft Windows operating system. The BCM4339, with secure digital input output interface, is a mobility solution for smartphones and tablets with support for Microsoft Windows and Android operating systems, the company said.
Broadcom’s BCM43162 and BCM4339 are now sampling with early access customers with volume production expected in the second half of this year, Broadcom said.