Broadcom's two chips announced for enhanced video streaming

January 7th, 2014 by Nancy Owano in Technology / Hardware

(Phys.org) —Broadcom has arrived in Las Vegas for the 2014 CES trade show with a clear message about its technology ambitions as a market leader in 5g WiFi chips. Broadcom has promoted its work that has focused on this fifth generation of Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac. The company said that "802.11ac from Broadcom delivers download speeds up to three times faster than existing networks, plus power efficiency six times greater than in most mobile devices."

Rahul Patel, Broadcom Vice President, Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combos, said "As the first company to deliver 5G WiFi across all product segments, Broadcom continues to lead innovation and engineer even more powerful next-generation 5G WiFi products that support today's content-hungry consumer." He said the company's solutions can translate into consumers getting an elevated video streaming experience and also providing OEMs with the benefits of "improved system cost and form factor."

Writing in Forbes earlier this month, Broadcom cofounder and CTO, Henry Samueli, similarly wrote about Broadcom's 5G WiFi technology as taking off in a big way. "Speeds of a few hundred Mbps in a smartphone or nearly 1 Gigabit per second in a tablet or computer are now possible." Samueli also said over the next few years Wi-Fi device speeds will continue to increase, but a greater benefit is longer range, which will provide better coverage inside one's home or office.

On Monday Broadcom announced its two new 5G WiFi (802.11ac) SoCs which combined are to deliver speed, power and range for connected home devices. The company is tapping into the opportunity tied to thoroughly digital living rooms, with their routers, digital TVs, gaming platforms, and more, hoping for their video streams to flow nicely no matter who is using what device, playing what game, and trying to stream which movie from which tablet to which digital TV.

This is how Broadcom describes what problems the new chips address:
"Consumers are streaming video content to multiple devices in the home using various applications and content delivery services. Legacy technologies limit the ability to support the evolving bandwidth and Quality of Service needed for the intensive connected home lifestyle. For example, using Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as remotes, speakers and game controllers can reduce available Wi-Fi bandwidth and cause interference when playing an online game or streaming a movie from a tablet to a smart TV."

The two new SoCs announced at CES on Monday are the BCM43569 and BCM43602. First, the BCM43569 is described as a dual-band 2x2 MIMO [multiple-input and multiple-output]), combo chip (5G WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1) for media platforms such as digital televisions and over-the-top media boxes. Next, the BCM43602 is a 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac chip designed for access/DSL/Cable/STB platforms. Highlights include the ability to achieve full 802.11ac (900 Mbps TCP) throughput on CPU-constrained systems. The entire WLAN driver runs inside of the BCM43602, freeing up the host CPU for applications such as HD video streaming.

The BCM43569 and BCM43602 are now sampling.

More information: www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s817141

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"Broadcom's two chips announced for enhanced video streaming." January 7th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-01-broadcom-chips-video-streaming.html