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Broadcom launches next-gen 5G Wi-Fi chips with gigabit ethernet speed and increased range

Broadcom Corporation is a global innovator for wired and wireless communications, and today the company announced its first family of 802.11ac chips designed for a broad range of product segments.

The chips, also called “5G Wi-Fi” by Broadcom, do not correlate with 3G and 4G cellphone networks. The BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516 chips improve Wi-Fi’s range and are significantly more efficient. Perhaps, the most tantalizing aspect is that the 5GHz-based technology has speeds beyond 1Gbps and is currently in the high-end range of consumer Ethernet.

Apple currently uses Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips in its Mac line and in its iOS devices, including iPad and iPods.  The latest MacBook Airs have the Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi® Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver.  Maybe we will see something a little faster later this year…

“5G Wi-Fi offers consumers the world’s fastest, most reliable wireless coverage for HD-quality video and near instantaneous data synch,” said Broadcom in a press release.  We’re immediately thinking 1080P video streams which often fall over in typical home 54Mbps congested networks.  AppleTV 3? Sure!

The immediate transition from wired to wireless, coupled with growing video utilization, is “putting tremendous stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks,” according to the company.

BCM4360 (PCIe) offers 3-stream 802.11ac support for a peak1.3Gbps speed. Meanwhile, the BCM4352 (PCIe) and BCM43526 (USB) both apply 2-stream 802.11ac capable of 867Mbps. The BCM43516 (USB) is only a single stream implementation for 433Mbps – which makes sense because of the 480Mbps bottleneck in the USB2 interface.

Digital-content consumption is rapidly rising, and video content will reach 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2015, according to Cisco’s 2011 Visual Networking Index Forecast.

“By creating more reliable whole-home coverage, Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi technology overcomes the digital content and wireless device challenge,” Broadcom explained.

Broadcom plans to showcase its newest advancement at Consumer Electronics Show 2012 through its initial partners: Motorola, Microsoft, Netgear, Belkin, LG, Huawei, Lenovo, and others that will initially implement 802.11ac. After the IEEE certifies the technology, it is ought to become the new standard due to its impressive list of early-adopters.

Apple was the pioneering brand in 802.11 Wireless with its Airport release in the late 1990s, which is also bound to be on board.

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