Broadcom's new 5G Wi-Fi chip with 802.11ac, 2x2 MIMO could be tapped for future iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
Broadcom on Monday took the wraps off a new 5G Wi-Fi system-on-a-chip for mobile devices that could bring 802.11ac support, 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) and improved power efficiency to future Apple iPhones and iPads.

Broadcom
The iPhone 5s' Murata 339S0205 Wi-Fi module (center) is based on the Broadcom BCM4334 chip. | Source: iFixit


According to Broadcom, the new BCM4354 SoC doubles data throughput and increases Wi-Fi coverage by up to 30 percent, while at the same time increasing efficiency by some 25 percent over older 1x1 MIMO solutions.

"Smartphones have become the epicenter of today's digital life and consumers are demanding ever increasing levels of performance and sophistication," said Dino Bekis, Broadcom's Vice President of Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combos. "As a leader in wireless connectivity solutions, Broadcom continues to deliver unprecedented features and capabilities to this demanding and rapidly growing market."

Broadcom says the chip will give smartphones the same benefits from advanced multi-antenna 2x2 MIMO designs seen on tablet devices like Apple's iPad Air. In addition, the firm's beamforming technology will improve range and performance in congested environments.

Broadcom says the chip is already being produced, but did not specify when quantities would be reach levels necessary for wide distribution.

With Apple's continued use of Broadcom-based Wi-Fi chips -- and other controller components -- in the iPhone 5s and iPad lineup, the upcoming BCM4354 will likely make its way into next-generation iOS devices.

That Apple would include the chip into its portable product series is a logical next step as the company has already rolled out 802.11ac technology in its laptop and desktop hardware offerings. The company was one of the first major OEMs to incorporate the 5G wireless spec in a consumer device with the mid-2013 MacBook Air.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    There's no reason this won't be implemented. Because of the power efficiency benefits, it'll be a no brainer for Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    andysol wrote: »
    There's no reason this won't be implemented. Because of the power efficiency benefits, it'll be a no brainer for Apple.

    I can think of one reason why we might not see it this year: Qualcomm won't be able to produce enough to meet Apple's volume requirements.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,087member
    So what cellular company has 5G stations available today? Any planning on upgrading in the next year or is this something that will be available on an iPhone but not usable?
  • Reply 4 of 17
    cgjcgj Posts: 276member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



    So what cellular company has 5G stations available today? Any planning on upgrading in the next year or is this something that will be available on an iPhone but not usable?

    5th generation WiFi, not 5th generation cellular.

  • Reply 5 of 17
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member

    Is the 11ac Airport Extreme MIMO? 

  • Reply 6 of 17
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post



    There's no reason this won't be implemented. Because of the power efficiency benefits, it'll be a no brainer for Apple.

     

    Agree.  Time Capsule and Airport Extreme handle 802.11ac already.  So do all the latest Macs and MacBooks (except the mini).  iPhone / iPad should get 802.11ac next.  And maybe iPod touch and Airport Express as well.

  • Reply 7 of 17
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member

    AI didn't report on the other chip that Broadcom introduce, its newest NFC solution that i see as being the first particle solution for all NFC things and may well get Apple's approval.

  • Reply 8 of 17
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member

    Broadcom named their WiFi chip "5G"?  Really?

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ksec View Post

     

    AI didn't report on the other chip that Broadcom introduce, its newest NFC solution that i see as being the first particle solution for all NFC things and may well get Apple's approval.


     

    No F***ing Chance.

  • Reply 9 of 17
    john.b wrote: »
    Broadcom named their WiFi chip "5G"? Really?
    No.

    They've named the chip "BCM4354" per the original post as well as the press release.

    The 5G simply refers to the basic WiFi network technology generation:

    1G = 802.11a
    2G = 802.11b
    3G = 802.11g
    4G = 802.11n
    5G = 802.11ac

    Broadcom BCM4354 is a registered trademark. That's the name of the chip.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post



    Broadcom named their WiFi chip "5G"? Really?


    No.



    They've named the chip "BCM4354" per the original post as well as the press release.



    The 5G simply refers to the basic WiFi network technology generation:



    1G = 802.11a

    2G = 802.11b

    3G = 802.11g

    4G = 802.11n

    5G = 802.11ac



    Broadcom BCM4354 is a registered trademark. That's the name of the chip.

     

    And yet, the Broadcom press release title calls it "5G WiFi" mobile chip: Broadcom Introduces First 5G WiFi 2x2 MIMO Combo Chip for Smartphones, knowing full well the confusion it will create in the minds of average consumers who have been marketed "4G" celluar phones.

     

    Shameless.

  • Reply 11 of 17
    What does it matter?

    Ever since the ITU dumbed down the more stringent definition of 4G cellular technology to include 3.5G HSPA+, the 4G moniker isn't really worth much.

    At least Broadcom refers to it as "5G WiFi" not "5G cellular" or "5G data."

    As a matter of fact, 802.11ac is a far more obtuse moniker than 5G. Is 802.11ac about as good as 802.11b? What about 802.11n. 'N' is farther than 'a', 'c' or 'b' in the alphabet. Or is it like school grading, where 'a' is better than 'b'?

    Joe Consumer won't really care, as long as he/she is convinced the new gear is better than the old gear.
  • Reply 12 of 17

    Yeah this might be in an Apple TV and the other less volume products first. I'm anxious to see how it performs compared to what it is now.

  • Reply 13 of 17
    john.b wrote: »
    Broadcom named their WiFi chip "5G"? Really?
    No.

    They've named the chip "BCM4354" per the original post as well as the press release.

    The 5G simply refers to the basic WiFi network technology generation:

    1G = 802.11a
    2G = 802.11b
    3G = 802.11g
    4G = 802.11n
    5G = 802.11ac

    Broadcom BCM4354 is a registered trademark. That's the name of the chip.

    Actually the .11ac is the 6th generation because there is also the (1997) 802.11 legacy implementation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.11#Protocol

    1000
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    Actually the .11ac is the 6th generation

     

    And people had the gall to complain when I took issue with the 6th iPhone being called 5.

  • Reply 15 of 17
    The Broadcom chips Apple has traditionally used in the iPhone are the combo chips that also include Bluetooth and FM. Late last year, Broadcom showed the update to this series that includes the features of this chip, plus NFC. I believe they will use the combo chip, not this one.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    sandorsandor Posts: 550member
    Quote:


     

    And yet, the Broadcom press release title calls it "5G WiFi" mobile chip: Broadcom Introduces First 5G WiFi 2x2 MIMO Combo Chip for Smartphones, knowing full well the confusion it will create in the minds of average consumers who have been marketed "4G" celluar phones.

     

    Shameless.



     

     

    really?!?

     

    i'll think of you the first time i hear of an average consumer trying to buy a Broadcom SoC product from BestBuy... 

     

    This is an OEM product, not a consumer item. 

  • Reply 17 of 17
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Actually the .11ac is the 6th generation</span>

    And people had the gall to complain when I took issue with the 6th iPhone being called 5.

    "People. Don't get me started on people" (Margaret Powers on The Powers That Be)

    It's not my goal to be right, I just want to be accurate
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