Broadcom recently announced four Wi-Fi chips that support next-generation standard 802.11ac, and offer a theoretical throughput of 1.3 Gbps. The manufacturer also launched the brand “5G Wi-Fi”, a proprietary format which is not ratified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the consortium responsible for developing standards for wireless standards.
As the current Wi-Fi 802.11n, Broadcom is based on the multiplication of antennas to achieve a bandwidth of 1.3 Gbps. Three in numbers, at most, they operate on 80 MHz channels or frequencies twice as wide as 40 MHz available in the high-end routers (Dual Band). They exploit the “Beamforming”, a technique to control them individually to obtain an optimized signal to a specific device.
The advantage of using such channels avoids much interference with the operation of other wireless devices. Of course, this technology is backward compatible with existing Wi-Fi products (for 802.11b).
Below are the four chips that were announced by the manufacturer. Know that all are engraved in 40 nm:
- BCM43516: 802.11ac a single antenna with a maximum throughput of 433 Mbps and a USB interface
- BCM4352: 802.11ac two antennas with a maximum throughput of 867 Mbps and a PCIe interface
- BCM43526: 802.11ac two antennas with a maximum throughput of 867 Mbps and a USB interface
- BCM4360: 802.11ac three antennas with a maximum throughput of 1.3 Gbps and a PCIe interface
Broadcom announces immediate availability of these, but also the imminent arrival of new products (routers, access point, smartphones, etc…) based on its new technology. In addition, we must see what the response of the Wi-Fi Alliance is gone be regarding this new protocol, also targeting the gigabit per the airway: The WiGig.
Netgear on the other hand has just put online a page and announced that the operator products “5G Wi-Fi” will be available during 2012. The famous manufacturer also publishes a video about this new technology which you can find on YouTube.