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WLAN chip drives Wi-Fi in high-volume segments

Posted: 21 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WLAN chip? Wi-Fi? high-volume segments?

Broadcom Corp. has announced a new low-cost single-chip WLAN solution that enables manufacturers to build smaller, more affordable Wi-Fi products. This highly integrated WLAN chip has a 40 percent smaller footprint and consumes half the power of previous Broadcom solutions while promising the lowest "rest of bill-of-material" (RBOM) costs and delivering the same level of performance as previous solutions.

The new chip's flexible architecture is optimized for single-band or dual-band use, making it a suitable solution for adding Wi-Fi to a variety of devices, including notebook PCs, broadband gateways and gaming platforms.

To further emphasize the flexibility of its new WLAN chip, Broadcom has developed a unique reference design that combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities on a standard mini-card. This turnkey solution provides PC manufacturers a cost-effective way to offer two of the most popular wireless technologies in small notebooks, and offers innovative features to ensure optimal Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance.

"By pushing the boundaries of integration and power management, Broadcom is driving down the cost of existing wireless designs and facilitating new opportunities for Wi-Fi in next-generation devices," said Bill Bunch, director of marketing for Broadcom's WLAN line of business. "Our new WLAN platform enables our customers to deliver wireless capabilities in new platforms and at new price points. As a result, we expect to increase Wi-Fi penetration in the high-volume segments where Broadcom is already a strong player."

The BCM4312 chip integrates an 802.11 MAC, baseband processor and a dual-band radio (2.4GHz and 5GHz) onto a single silicon die. It promises size, cost and power benefits for a variety of products that use the PCIe or SDIO interfaces.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi ref design
To provide PC manufacturers additional wireless connectivity options, Broadcom's new BCM94312MCGB reference design integrates the new BCM4312 WLAN chip with the company's BCM2046 Bluetooth chip onto a single PCIe mini-card. Combining wireless technologies onto a single module reduces the number of card slots required for wireless subsystems in smaller notebook platforms.

The design uses a shared antenna system that eliminates the need for separate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennasresulting in lower component costs and better performance. The new reference design also supports Broadcom's popular InConcert coexistence technology, a set of enhancements to reduce interference and improve performance in devices using both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The BCM4312 is shipping in production quantities to leading PC OEMs and broadband customers. Pricing is available upon request.

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