Broadcom's Chip brings 802.11n to Mobile Devices
The use of feature integrated combination chips in mobile products provides "significant cost, size, power and performance advantages over discrete semiconductor implementations, making it ideal for handheld electronics."
As mobile phones become more media-centric - with cameras, full-featured browsers and enhanced audio capabilities - many consumers want to share photos, videos, music and data between their portable devices and other electronics such as TVs, PCs, printers, remote speakers, headsets and car stereos. These applications can benefit from the new 802.11n standard, which offers higher throughput, more robust connections and much greater coverage than previous Wi-Fi technologies.
Broadcom states that their implementation of 802.11n in the new chip will boast "up to 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) of actual wireless throughput, allowing large file transfers to happen more quickly while consuming less total power."
The new BCM4329 chip has FM transmit and receive capabilities so end users will be able to transmit from their mobile devices directly to home and car stereo FM receivers without the need for third party devices or adapters.
Since handheld devices lack the space, battery power and processing power to support 802.11n implementations with multiple antennas, the BCM4329 uses single-stream 802.11n to transmit and receive data. This significantly reduces the system's footprint and power consumption when compared to multi-stream solutions. Despite the use of a single antenna, the BCM4329 provides faster and more reliable wireless connections than current 802.11g products.
In addition to its performance advantages, the BCM4329 is the industry's smallest and lowest cost dual-band 802.11n solution. Dual-band capabilities allow Wi-Fi users to leverage the less crowded 5 GHz spectrum for media applications that require faster guaranteed bandwidth. To eliminate the cost and size barriers of adding dual-band functionality to mobile devices, the BCM4329 integrates 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz CMOS power amplifiers, which can reduce bill-of-material (BOM) costs by up to 75 cents while providing the same or better performance than solutions using external power amplifiers. Broadcom's extreme integration also reduces power consumption and makes BCM4329 designs fifteen percent smaller than those based on its predecessor, enabling modules that are less than 75 mm2 to accommodate the board space requirements of handheld devices.
The BCM4329 is in limited engineering sample release now and should see wide spread availability and implementation in 2009.