Broadcom unwraps single chip 802.11n solution
At this week’s Global Wi-Fi Summit in Beijing, China, Broadcom Corp. demonstrated a full-featured, single-chip 802.11n solution. This 65 nm CMOS device is the newest member of its Intensi-fi product family. And, according to the developer, it is not only the smallest and most cost-effective 802.11n solution on the market, but is the first to enable Wi-Fi products to achieve over 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) of actual wireless throughput. By combining unprecedented wireless capacity with new features to improve range, Broadcom's new Intensi-fi chip enables wireless networks to deliver on the promise of 802.11n -- the ability to support several simultaneous multimedia applications including high-definition (HD) video streaming.
Labeled BCM4322, the manufacturer claims that it is the only 802.11n solution that combines all of the elements of a wireless LAN (WLAN) subsystem onto a single silicon die. This high level of integration can reduce manufacturing costs by up to 40%, said Broadcom.
Digital entertainment content is readily available, but moving that content from one device to another has been a challenge. For example, noted Broadcom, it is difficult to transfer home movies from a PC to a television because the products lack a simple and common connection method. The size, cost and performance of the new Intensi-fi chip makes it possible to connect these devices, and many others, using Wi-Fi, said Broadcom.
"Our new Intensi-fi chip pushes the envelope of integration to help our customers deliver cutting-edge wireless features in smaller, more affordable devices," said Michael Hurlston, vice president and general manager of Broadcom's WLAN line of business. "It also delivers a price point that will accelerate the adoption of 802.11n technology, removing all doubt that Wi-Fi will be the backbone of the digital home network."
A second generation product, the new Intensi-fi chip complies with the IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 specification. It is the only 802.11n solution to combine an 802.11 medium access controller (MAC), a baseband processor, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios and other WLAN components onto a single silicon die, the maker said. The BCM4322 is sampling now, with production quantities expected to ship in the first quarter of 2008.
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