LONDON Broadcom Corp. has started shipping to PC OEMS a tightly integrated wireless LAN chip that it says has a 40 percent smaller footprint and consumes half the power of previous Wi-Fi chips from the company.
The flexible architecture of the BCM4312 is optimized for single-band or dual-band use, making it suitable for broadband gateways and gaming platforms as well as notebook PCs.
Broadcom is also offering a reference design that integrates the BCM4312 WLAN chip with its BCM2046 Bluetooth chip on to a single PCIe mini-card.
The design also uses a shared antenna system that eliminates the need for separate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas resulting in lower component costs and also supports the company's InConcert coexistence technology that reduces interference and improve performance in devices using both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The BCM4312 chip integrates an 802.11 MAC, baseband processor, and a dual-band radio (2.4 and 5 GHz) on to a single silicon die. The part is said to deliver significant size, cost and power benefits for a variety of products that use the PCI Express or secure digital I/O (SDIO) interfaces.
In addition to the space reduction, the SDIO interface allows direct integration on the DSL motherboard, which, Broadcom says, will enable manufacturers to design sleeker form factors.