Broadcom touts ‘5G Wi-Fi’ mobile chip

Semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom announces the first mobile chip based on the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, set to launch in early 2013

Broadcom has unveiled a chip that could give mobile devices faster connections using Wi-Fi.

The BCM4335 is the first mobile chip based on the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. 

Branded as ‘5G Wi-Fi,’ the specification speeds Wi-Fi connections up to three times the current standard. The 802.11ac specification also improves range so data can be transferred at a higher rate over a longer distance.

By putting a chip based on this standard into a mobile phone, tablet or ultrabook, can give a better experience to users streaming video or transferring files over Wi-Fi connections. 

Due to the standard allowing the same amount of data to complete its transfer in less time, battery life is conserved. Broadcom claims devices using the chip will be six times more efficient.

The first chips for routers and laptops were introduced to the market in the second quarter of 2012, but now Broadcom’s focus is on the mobile market.

"Broadcom introduced the industry's first 5G Wi-Fi chips earlier this year and has continued to deliver on an aggressive roll-out of solutions to power the entire ecosystem of wireless products,” said Michael Hurlston, senior vice-president and general manager of wireless connectivity at Broadcom.

“Today, we're the only chip vendor powering the next generation of routers, access points and client devices currently on shelves. The BCM4335 is the perfect mobile complement to these 5G Wi Fi products, allowing smartphones and tablets the full benefit of the technology at both ends of the wireless connection."

The chip is already with early access customers for testing and feedback, but the company expected the BCM4335 to go into full production in the first quarter of 2013.

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