Broadcom to bring 5G WiFi to the masses with entry-level combo chips

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Steve Dent
May 23rd, 2013
In this article: 5GWiFi, 802.11ac, BMC43162, BMC4339, Broadcom
Broadcom to bring 5G WiFi to the masses with entry-level combo chips

As we've mentioned before, 5G WiFi, aka 802.11ac is a good thing, unless you hate speed and range. After launching its integrated BCM4335 chip on flagship handsets like Samsung's Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, Broadcom has announced new 5G WiFi combo chips for lower-end smartphones, PCs, notebooks and tablets. Budget handheld devices can now be equipped with the BCM4339, which Broadcom says brings the same performance as its top-end mobile chip while integrating power and low-noise amplifiers for easier integration. Meanwhile, the BCM43162 is targeted at desktop and notebook PCs with direct support for the Microsoft's Windows OS. Customers are now sampling both chips, and Broadcom expects volume production in the second half of the year -- another possible reason to put off that notebook purchase a bit longer.

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Broadcom Announces First 5G WiFi Combo Chips for Entry Level Market

Cost-effective, Highly Integrated Designs Deliver Unprecedented Range and Performance of 802.11ac Technology to Affordable PCs, Tablets and Smartphones

IRVINE, Calif. – May 23, 2013

News Highlights:

  • New 1x1 5G WiFi combo chips deliver high-performance 802.11ac technology
  • Single-chip highly integrated design lowers OEM total bill of materials (BOM) cost
  • Positions Broadcom for success in accelerating market; 802.11ac chips expected to make up more than half of the total Wi-Fi chip shipment by 2014

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the industry's first 5G WiFi combination chips targeted specifically for entry level consumer devices, including PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Broadcom's new 5G WiFi solutions will be showcased at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2013. For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.

With more enterprise and retail routers rapidly moving to the IEEE 802.11ac standard, the infrastructure is in place for broad adoption by PCs, tablets and smartphones, opening up significant new opportunities for 5G WiFi to be integrated into mass market platforms. As the first company to deliver 802.11ac technology across all product segments, Broadcom is well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities by providing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) an affordable solution that offers all of the performance, range and power advantages of 5G WiFi in a single-chip design.

"802.11ac chips have started shipping in significant quantity in 2013 and by the end of 2014, 11ac is expected to be included in more than 50 percent of total Wi-Fi ICs shipped," said Peter Cooney, Practice Director, ABI Research. "There will be rapid adoption across many devices with high end smartphones, laptops and tablets leading the race."

"Broadcom is the leader in delivering 802.11ac-based products, and we reinforce that leadership today, staying one large step ahead of our competitors with new 5G WiFi chips designed to help OEMs capitalize on the massive potential of entry level mobile devices," said Rahul Patel, Broadcom Vice President, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group. "This 1x1 design lowers cost while still delivering dramatic speed, power and performance, empowering a broad new user base to effortlessly stream HD video and significantly increase their Wi-Fi range in the home, office or hotspot zone."

Broadcom's 5G WiFi technology is currently powering the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and HTC One smartphone. Additionally, the company's 5G WiFi is integrated into select LG Digital TVs and the ASUS ROG G75VW gaming laptop, as well as routers from Belkin, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, Edimax, NETGEAR, Samsung and Tenda. Broadcom today extends that leadership with its single-chip 5G WiFi products for mass market devices.

Key Features:

As Broadcom's second generation of 5G WiFi combo chips, the BCM43162 and BCM4339 offer the same unmatched performance, range and power consumption benefits as the flagship 5G WiFi combo chip, the BCM4335, but integrate the complete front-end, power amplifier (PA) and Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), to enable a low-cost, mass market solution. The BCM43162 is a peripheral component interconnect express-based (PCIe) client solution for PCs and notebooks with support for Microsoft Windows operating system, and the BCM4339 with secure digital input output (SDIO) interface, is a mobility solution for smartphones and tablets with support for Microsoft Windows and Android operating systems.

Additional product features include:

  • Integrated 5G WiFi PA and LNA technology to allow small form factor designs and reduced total BOM
  • Transmit beamforming and low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes for greater coverage and robust wholehouse media and data applications
  • 433Mbps Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) PHY rate for superior speed  Broadcom proprietary TurboQAM® for 33 percent increase in 2.4GHz speed
  • Broadcom proprietary Channel Smoothing WLAN PHY to increase receiver sensitivity by an average of 2 db across 802.11n and 802.11ac rates
  • Specific to the BCM4339, Broadcom is the only vendor to offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) coexistence


Broadcom's BCM43162 and BCM4339 are now sampling with early access customers with volume production expected in 2H 2013.

For ongoing news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom, read the B-Connected Blog, or visit Facebook or Twitter. And to stay connected, subscribe to Broadcom's RSS Feed.

About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a FORTUNE 500® company, is a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom® products seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments. With the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and embedded software solutions, Broadcom is changing the world by connecting everything®. For more information, go to

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