5g-wifi-logoBroadcom today announced a first of its kind 5G WiFi system-on-a-chip that will bring faster 802.11ac WiFi and improved performance to smartphones. Apple currently uses a WiFi chip based on the Broadcom technology in the iPhone, iPad and Mac products making the new 5G chip a likely successor for next-generation iOS devices. The chip is the first to implement 2×2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) on a smartphone and Broadcom said that will significantly improve performance over current implementations of 802.11ac on mobile:

Consumers expect a fast, always-on smartphone experience. Performance however can be degraded by many factors including how a phone is held or positioned.  In the past, MIMO systems have solved these problems on tablets and larger devices by using multiple antennas. With Broadcom’s advanced antenna and PHY design, the BCM4354 can now deliver the benefits of 5G WiFi 2×2 MIMO to smaller platform designs like smartphones while reducing implementation complexity for designers. This achievement enables the industry’s first practical implementation of 2×2 MIMO on a smartphone, opening the door for a new market segment.

Broadcom said the chip will allow smartphone makers to double WiFi performance “while improving system power efficiency up to 25 percent when using wireless applications.”

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Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.