Photos of Likely 802.11ac 'Gigabit Wi-Fi' Card From Next-Generation iMac Surface

Tonymacx86 points (via 9to5Mac) to recently discovered photos of a Broadcom BCM94360CD Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card that supports the 802.11ac "Gigabit Wi-Fi" standard rumored to be coming to Apple's Mac lineup later this year. While the photos were posted to Chinese site VR-Zone in early March, they are only just now being noticed by those following Apple rumors.

bcm94360_1
While the reports suggest that the new card is intended for the next-generation MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models rumored for launch at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), a commenter on the Tonymacx86 discussion thread points out that the card is actually nearly identical in size, shape, and layout to the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card found in the current iMac.

bcm94360_2
The BCM94360CD card, which is very likely a custom design for Apple, contains Broadcom's BCM4360 802.11ac transceiver chip, offering support for the in-process Wi-Fi standard that allows for triple the speeds of the current 802.11n standard. An apparent date code of "1240" on the part suggests that it was manufactured in early October 2012, several months before Apple was reported to have struck a deal with Broadcom to bring 802.11ac support to its 2013 Macs.

imac_2012_wifi_card

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card from Late 2012 iMac (Source: iFixit)

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iMac

Top Rated Comments

quagmire Avatar
127 months ago
Stop the presses, a leaked part is for a Mac and not an iOS device? :eek:
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JaySoul Avatar
127 months ago
Will speeds ever become so fast that we would actually be able to see things before they happen?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
127 months ago
Kind of like Megapixels in cameras. The makers were, and still are to a certain extent, pushing higher and higher pixel counts even though after a point picture quality does not really improve and there are other things that can be changed about the sensor that are more important.
With respect to you I disagree completely with your comments.

Faster WiFi is very important to me. I store all my media be that Movies, TV Shows or Music on a NAS, it's easier to backup that NAS and access my media on all my devices and my wifes devices.

WiFi, specifically 802.11n is good for this activity but it's not great. HD 1080p video requires large buffer pools on the client side. It is not possible to directly stream 1080p without a 20MB or larger buffer due to the slow speed of 802.11n WiFi, the problem is exasperated by distance and interference.

Many of us do not keep our Wireless Routers in the same room as our HDTV's.

And there is another thing too, Backups. Time Machine Backups that require GB's be transferred per day dependant on how many files changed take a long time over WiFi.

Keep this in mind although 802.11n is 300Mb/s to 450Mb/s (dependant on radio generation) that is only Mb - Megabit speeds. Not MegaByte. The difference is huge because we don't store files on our PC's in Megabit sizes. A MegaByte is 8x larger than a Megabit.

So when you see 300Mb/s it sounds impressive. But it isn't. That is just 37.5MB/s - Slower than a USB Hard Drive.

This means that even if you were able to get the full 300Mb/s transfer speed (which is unlikely in the real world) you would still only manage 37.5MB/s file transfers within your home network. This is incredibly slow for performing an initial Time Machine backup or even daily backups and forget about moving large files from PC to PC without waiting 10-20 Minutes.

This is where AC comes in. It boosts speeds to between 900Mb/s and 1.3Gb/s - This pushes MegaByte speeds to between 112MB/s and 162MB/s - That is a huge difference and even if we don't get those speeds in the real world we can expect at-least a 2x increase over 802.11n - We are talking 75MB/s on a bad scenario, just 600Mb/s transfer speeds.

So I hope this helps you understand why some of us are excited about 802.11ac some of us don't want to plug 1Gb ethernet in to our notebooks, some of us want to go fully wireless without any drawbacks like heavily buffered video with slow scrubbing, file transfers that you need to plan your workflow around due to their completion times and backups that strain or saturate your wireless connectivity.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
midwesthawkeye Avatar
127 months ago
iMac Surface??

The capitalization of the word "Surface" in the headline is confusing. It makes it look like "iMac Surface" is a product name.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crzyrio Avatar
127 months ago
Could we please stop it with the 802.11 AC hype because quite frankly you'd swear that people here actually think they'll reach said speeds in normal conditions. Check out the following article on 802.11 AC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac

I'd sooner an adoption of a lower frequency that provides better coverage than having the sort of showing off of technology that rarely meets the hype on which the marketing department seems to be hell bent on pushing.
I do not even know what to say to the two of you :confused:

Current theoretical Speed of 802.1n = 300-450 Mb/s ~ 30-50 MB/s
Real World Speed Approximately(lets say half) = 150-225 Mb/s ~ 15-25 MB/s

Theoretical Speed of 802.1AC = 850 Mb/s - 1300 Mb/s ~ 85-130 MB/s
Real World Speed Approximately(lets say half) = 425 - 650 Mb/s ~ 42-65 MB/s


How can you not see the difference? More than double the speed?

Not to mention the 450 Mb/s on n is only if you have the 2-3 antennas and the high end routers. Bring the actual speed of the current standards down to less than 10MB/s

The difference is HUGE for those that have a NAS at their home. Wifi AC makes NAS useable over Wifi, not to mention computer to computer transfers amazingly faster. Especially useful on Mac's with Airdrop.

Useless to most. You'll never see real world usage above 802.11n, and hard drives need to move to solid state before this is really taken advantage of.
Standard HDD Read Theoretical = 80MB/s
Actual = 60MB/s

SSD Theoretical = 250-500 MB/s
Actual = Varies to much between drives

Current theoretical MAX of Wifi n = 45 MB/s
Actual = 30 MB/s

Starting theoretical speed of AC = 85 MB/s
Assuming actual will be half = 40 MB/s +

Wifi AC makes standard HDDS Useable over Wifi
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snebes Avatar
127 months ago
The capitalization of the word "Surface" in the headline is confusing. It makes it look like "iMac Surface" is a product name.

The CApiTALizatioN iS corRECT.

It is just a poorly worded headline.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off)

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...