Broadcom intros a trio of 802.11ac WiFi chips for PCs and set-top boxes

Broadcom has focused most of its 802.11ac WiFi efforts this year on high- and low-end mobile chips. Today, it's swinging that attention back to bigger machinery like PCs and set-top boxes. The company's new BCM4350, BCM43556 and BCM43558 all carry more robust, 2 X 2 MIMO antennas that help them hit 866Mbps speeds and optimize traffic through beamforming. Any differences, Broadcom notes, revolve around everything but the WiFi. The BCM4350 carries a more PC-like set of interfaces that includes Bluetooth 4.0, PCI Express and SDIO 3.0; the BCM43558 drops the PCIe and SDIO in favor of USB 3.0, while the BCM43556 also sheds Bluetooth. Although we don't know which companies plan to use the nimbler wireless technology, it should ship to gadget makers in the second half of this year.

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Broadcom Announces New 5G WiFi Chips for the Connected Home

First 2x2 802.11ac Combos and New Retail Dongle Chips Expand 5G WiFi Portfolio

TAIPEI, Taiwan – COMPUTEX 2013 – June 3, 2013

News Highlights:

* 5G WiFi with Bluetooth support improves wireless range and extend integration beyond mobile computing devices
* New combo chips enable OEMs to design faster and more power-efficient products for PCs, tablets and settop-boxes
* Chips with USB 3.0, PCIe and SDIO 3.0 interfaces provide OEMs with options to maximize 5G WiFi performance in a range of product segments

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced it has expanded its 5G WiFi portfolio with a line of 2x2 5G WiFi products. The new chips deliver the speed, range and power benefits necessary for connected home devices, including PCs, tablets, set-top-boxes, TVs, and retail routers. New 5G WiFi products will be showcased at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2013. For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.

Consumers are streaming more high-definition content across more devices in the home. Broadcom's new 5G WiFi chips, including the BCM4350, BCM43556 and BCM43558, enable OEMs to develop a variety of devices in different form factors designed to meet growing consumer demand for speed, reliability and power efficiency.

"Broadcom's new 2x2 combo chips extend our leadership and mark another industry first for 802.11ac technology," said Rahul Patel, Broadcom Vice President, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group. "By offering multiple design options we are enabling more devices to reap the dramatic benefits of 5G WiFi, significantly improving performance in the connected home."

Key Features:

The new line of 2X2 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) 5G WiFi solutions from Broadcom support the following features:

o Transmit beamforming and low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes for robust coverage in a
connected home ecosystem, and support for beamformer and beamforming receiver
o 866 Mbps wireless local area network (WLAN) PHY rate for superior speed
o Broadcom proprietary TurboQAM for 33 percent increase in 2.4GHz speed
o Broadcom proprietary Channel Smoothing WLAN PHY to increase receiver sensitivity by an average
of 2 db across 802.11n and 802.11ac rates

BCM4350 is a combo chip designed specifically for PCs, tablets and set-top-boxes, and supports the following:

o PCIe and SDIO3.0 interfaces for high-performance, low-power consumption PCs, tablets and set-topboxes
o Low-power modes to optimize battery life
o Support for Microsoft Windows and Android operating systems
o Integrated Bluetooth 4.0 for set-top-boxes to assist in voice search, audio streaming and gestural remote control for navigation and gaming
o Multiscreen content sharing from mobile platforms directly to TV
o Whole-home DVR functionality, browsing, gaming and Over-The-Top (OTT) content services

BCM43556 (standalone 5G WiFi) and BCM43558 (combo with 5G WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0) are next
generation chips designed for PCs, digital TVs and set-top-boxes and feature the following:

o USB 3.0 support for more than two times data throughput than previous generations, plus power save modes to extend battery life
o Full compatibility with latest PC platforms, including Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8
o Seamless interoperability with 5G WiFi-based routers and 5G WiFi-based digital TV platforms


Broadcom's new 5G WiFi solutions are now sampling with early access customers, with full production expected in the second half of 2013.