Feature Article

February 24, 2014

Broadcom Unveils First 5G Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO Chip for Smartphones

Broadcom was among the first on scene when it came to bringing 5G Wi-Fi to smartphones, tablets and other devices and now it seems the company is keen to maintain its reputation in this area with a new combo chip. Dubbed the Broadcom BCM4354, the chip is in fact the industry’s first 5G Wi-Fi 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphones.

Put simply, the BCM4354 enables manufacturers to deliver twice the Wi-Fi performance of the 1x1 MIMO offerings commonly used in smartphones right now, while improving system power efficiency by up to 25 percent when using wireless applications.

It’s typical for manufacturers to solve problems like signal degradation by adding multiple antennas, but only in larger devices like laptops and tablets. However, with its advanced antenna and PHY design, the BCM4354 can now bring the benefits of 5G Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO to smaller devices while reducing implementation complexity for designers.

Furthermore, Broadcom’s Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology further improves rate over range performance in congested environments for data-intensive applications. As such, tasks like uploading photo and video should be twice as fast in crowded venues.

Broadcom’s announcement of the BCM4354 comes shortly after that of the BCM4771, an SoC that aims to improve the location capabilities of wearable devices.

"Smartphones have become the epicenter of today's digital life and consumers are demanding ever increasing levels of performance and sophistication," said Dino Bekis, vice president of Marketing for Wireless Connectivity Combos at Broadcom, in a statement.  "As a leader in wireless connectivity solutions, Broadcom continues to deliver unprecedented features and capabilities to this demanding and rapidly growing market."

Key features of the Broadcom BCM4354 include 867 Mbps PHY rate/80MHz channel bandwidth, SDIO 3.0 and low-power PCIe host interfaces for WLAN, and support for Android, Windows and Chrome-based operating systems.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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