Tiny Combo Chips Pack a Big Punch with 5G WiFi for Mobile Devices

This article first appeared in the Broadcom Connected Blog

Broadcom is taking 5G WiFi technology to the next level with the BCM4335 combo chip for the entire mobile device ecosystem.

The power of 5G WiFi takes connectivity to a new level, delivering amped-up access to HD video, streaming music and digital photos via smartphones, smart TVs and other consumer electronics.

Since the unveiling of Broadcom’s first 5G WiFi chip at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show a number of companies have launched products with the 802.11ac technology, including networking products such as routers, as well as client devices like notebooks and PCs.

Today, Broadcom is taking 5G WiFi technology to the next level with the launch of the BCM4335, a new combo chip designed for mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks. The BCM4335 includes a complete 5G WiFi system – along with Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio – on a single, integrated chip.

With this combo chip, Broadcom is the first company to sample 5G WiFi solutions for every major wireless product segment. The BCM4335 complements the growing ecosystem of 5G WiFi access products and will bring the full benefits of the technology to the mobile experience. It enables a more seamless and satisfying experience when streaming video, sharing files or synchronizing media libraries to smartphones, tablets and mobile PC products.

Broadcom combo chips are among the most widely adopted in the wireless industry. The key to its success? The combo chip. Broadcom’s engineered complete radio systems onto tiny pieces of silicon, providing device makers  the flexibility to easily add the most advanced wireless capabilities to any platform.

 The BCM4335 is Broadcom’s most advanced combo chip yet, packing an incredible amount of networking and connectivity  into a chip that’s small and energy efficient enough to fit into the sleekest designs. As the new chip appears in smartphones and mobile devices in the next year, consumers will begin to experience the full benefit of radically fast, reliable Wi-Fi in the palms of their hands.

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Industry buzz:

30% of Americans can’t go one hour without Wi-Fi

Some surprising results from a Broadcom survey of 900 Americans:

  • 30% cannot go one full hour without a Wi-Fi connection
  • 60% cannot go one full day without Wi-Fi access before seeking a connection

I was trying to think of the last time I went a full day without checking my email – if you don’t count 26 hours of internet-free travel from San Francisco to Singapore two years ago, I believe it was in 2006 when I went to the Mayan Pyramids in Guatemala and there was no power for roughly 20 hours per day. My obsession with connectivity might be a little sad, but at least I know I’m not alone!

What you have to keep in mind here is that people are used to an always-on internet connection, whether that’s over Wi-Fi or cellular data networks. This is where 5G WiFi comes in: not only does it increase the capacity of existing Wi-Fi networks to support the exponential growth of smartphones, but it also allows cellular carriers to seamlessly offload customers from their limited spectrum to the vast expanses of the 5 GHz band.

With total wireless cellular penetration exceeding 100% in the United States, it won’t be that long before 100% of Americans will be unable to go a full day without Wi-Fi access.