Broadcom just announced its next round of portable device wireless chip, the BCM4335, which includes the ability to connect to the superfast 802.11ac networks. Apple exclusively uses Broadcom chips in this family for its iOS devices (and a different family for its Macs). The current iPad and iPhone use the Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and an FM transceiver—and the xxx5 is just a minor step up.

We found some code that indicates the next iPhone will use the Broadcom BCM4334, which adds the 40nm process and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities (perhaps opening some Airdrop capabilities too).

The 40nm chip will continue to deliver Bluetooth 4.0 and FM, but its 802.11ac networking could save some power using the new standard. It also features the “industry’s most advanced idle power consumption performance, which significantly extends a mobile device’s battery life.”

Sample chips are already available with a full production expected to be delivered in Q1 2013, just in time for next year’s iPads.

The press release follows:

Broadcom Introduces 5G WiFi Combo Chip for Smartphones and Tablets

First to Sample 802.11ac Solutions for Complete Ecosystem of Consumer Electronic Devices; 5th Generation of Wi-Fi Delivers Dramatic Speed, Range and Power Efficienc

IRVINE, Calif., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

News Highlights:

  • BCM4335 integrates a complete 5G WiFi system — including the MAC, PHY and RF — with Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single chip using 40nm CMOS process
  • Only combo chip to address unique interference challenges in systems with both 4G LTE cellular radios and wireless connectivity
  • Platform-agnostic design ensures chip can be added to any smartphone or tablet

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the BCM4335, the industry’s first complete 5G WiFi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices. The new solution furthers Broadcom’s wireless connectivity leadership and establishes it as the first chip vendor to sample solutions based on the 802.11ac standard for every major Wi-Fi product segment. For more news, visit Broadcom’s Newsroom.

5G WiFi, the 5th generation of Wi-Fi based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, is a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks. 5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously. With 3X faster speeds, consumers can download web content from a mobile device, and synch large files such as videos, in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode quickly and, as a result, are up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions.

Broadcom introduced its family of 5G WiFi chips for access points and PCs at CES in January 2012. The world’s first 5G WiFi routers and notebooks powered by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips were introduced to the market in Q2 2012. Smartphones and tablets powered by the new BCM4335, which are expected to hit shelves in Q1 2013, will allow consumers to reap the full speed, range and power saving benefits of 5G WiFi on both ends of the wireless connection. For more information on 5G WiFi, visit www.5GWiFi.org.

Proven Track Record in Combo Technology

Broadcom has a proven track record of designing and delivering complete, integrated solutions. The BCM4335 is the company’s fifth generation combo chip technology, benefiting from a foundation optimized to enable transformative wireless capabilities in mobile devices. With wireless coexistence algorithms that mitigate radio interference, advanced “sleep modes” that extend battery life, and processing capabilities that off-load power-intensive tasks from the host processor, Broadcom combo chips set the standard for integration, performance and functionality.

The new BCM4335 integrates a complete, single-stream 5G WiFi system — including the MAC, PHY and RF — with Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single silicon die. The platform-agnostic design and integration of the MAC, PHY and RF allows the BCM4335 to be added to any smartphone or tablet regardless of the application processor used. Designed in 40nm CMOS process, the new chips are smaller and more power efficient, giving customers more design freedom.

The BCM4335 introduces the newest version of Broadcom’s wireless coexistence technology. Handset makers can use this technology on 4G LTE cellular platforms to minimize the possibility of radio interference between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE, which operate in adjacent radio frequencies. Broadcom’s Global Coexistence Interface supports the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s LTE coexistence scheme and can be applied to future Broadcom LTE platforms, as well as 4G cellular platforms from other vendors.

Additional Product Highlights:

  • The BCM4335 features the industry’s most advanced idle power consumption performance, which significantly extends a mobile device’s battery life
  • Broadcom’s TurboQAM® technology implements the highest data-rate 256-QAM mode in 2.4 GHz and enables devices equipped with the BCM4335 to deliver 10 percent faster throughputs than 802.11n speeds when communicating with other 5G WiFi devices
  • Key high-throughput mobility interfaces, including SDIO 3.0, PCIe and HSIC, make it suitable for smartphone, tablet and computing platforms
  • PHY rates of 433 Mb/s significantly boost the wireless throughput compared to previous generation wireless solutions
  • Advanced beamforming, Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC) code and Space-Time Block Code (STBC) support for better coverage and more reliable connectivity
  • Built-in media processing to off-load host processor
  • Integrated support for Wi-Fi Direct™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ technologies

Market Drivers:

  • By 2016, 3 trillion minutes of video content will cross the network every month [1]
  • Most network video is now viewed on devices other than PCs [2]
  • Mobile data traffic worldwide will grow 18-fold from 2011 to 2016 [3]
  • Almost 100% of smartphones and tablets have adopted combo chips for wireless connectivity [4]
  • 802.11ac penetration in smartphones is expected to approach 100%, with an expected total available market of almost 1.5 billion Wi-Fi chips in smartphones and tablets by 2016 [5]

Availability

The BCM4335 is now sampling to Broadcom’s early access customers, with full production expected in Q1 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.

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