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Broadcom Closer to new Wireless Standard
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Though we're a fair stretch away from the 802.11ac standard being ratified, Broadcom is working hard to get the message of gigabit wireless across. Also dubbed "5G" for marketing, 11ac is the next big Wi-Fi thing and Broadcom's latest chip announcement pushes the draft standard forward.

Broadcom and others say the drive to 11ac is being fueled by explosive demand for content to wireless- devices. The new StrataGX Series chips for SMB products and BCM4708 for consumer devices promise to "unleash the power of 5G" to take wireless connectivity to Gigabit data rates.

Broadcom predicts that by 2015 we'll see an aggregate million minutes of networked video content delivered every second, and a 26-times increase in global mobile data compared with today's usage. Not surprisingly, the shift from laptops and desktops to platforms like mobile devices, gaming consoles and smart TVs is also expected to be intertwined with the big usage predictions, and Broadcom is telling all who'll listen why 11ac/5G will be the vehicle that takes us all there. 

In wireless, higher capacity is always good, as more users can connect with better satisfaction. The 11ac standard is expected to provide faster throughput (that Gigabit promise we need to examine), broader coverage that pushes better data rates further from the antenna, and gains in power efficiency that will be welcome by mobile device users. Certainly, 11ac is easy to get excited about, and the new Broadcom 11ac modules are unique system-on-chip (SoC) devices that pack a slew of network functionality and advanced features into a single chip. What's not to love?

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