Broadcom Announces New 5G 802.11ac Wi-Fi Chip for Smartphones

Communications chip maker Broadcom today announced a new 5G Wi-Fi Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed for smartphones, bringing 802.11ac connectivity with 2x2 MIMO to mobile devices.

The Broadcom BCM4354 chip marks the first implementation of 2x2 MIMO for smartphones, bringing up to twice the Wi-Fi performance with 25 percent more power efficiency than the current 1x1 MIMO chips.

5g_wifi_logoSome smartphones, such as the Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung have previously incorporated 802.11ac Wi-Fi using single stream chips such as the BCM4335 from Broadcom, but the new chip uses two spatial streams for speeds up to 867 Mbps.

MIMO is a technology that uses multiple antennas for both the transmitter and the receiver to improve communication performance. Apple first adopted MIMO technology for the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display.

Broadcom's chip also uses the newer 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol for transferring data, which is considered "Gigabit Wi-Fi" with transfer speeds up to three times as fast as 802.11n networks. With the addition of Broadcom's Transmit Beamforming technology, photo and video uploads can be twice as fast at crowded events.

In addition, Broadcom's Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology further improves rate over range performance in congested environments for data-intense applications. Photo and video uploads to social networking sites, for example, will be twice as fast in crowded sporting events or concert venues.

Apple uses Broadcom's technology in its line of Macs that support 802.11ac, including the newest MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and iMac. Broadcom also provides the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chips for Apple's iPhones, so it is possible that the iPhone 6 will feature Broadcom's newest chip, marking the first iPhone with 802.11ac support. Previous iPhone 6 rumors have also pointed to 802.11ac support.

Top Rated Comments

JAQ Avatar
100 months ago
Are they seriously applying the term "5G" to wifi? Do these people not give a damn how confusing this will be to consumers? Do we need to file a class action suit, or will someone in either the FCC or FTC step in and require them to stop using misleading marketing?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TonyYYZ Avatar
100 months ago
Considering no one has the bandwidth to take advantage of 802.11n routers, I doubt AC is all that significant right now.

What good is a fast WiFi protocol when bandwidth is the bottleneck?

The best I can get piped to my house is 105 Mbps. My several year old 802.11n Airport is capable of 3x that speed.

Got any other ideas, Broadcom?


Uhh, I don't think you fully understand. Your ISP connection isn't the only use for faster wifi. Data transfers in your own home network will benefit from faster wifi performance such as sending a movie file from one pc to the next. Now you can transfer data faster from your mobile devices on supported networks with this new chip.

So yes, this is a welcomed improvement by Broadcom.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lazy Avatar
100 months ago
Considering no one has the bandwidth to take advantage of 802.11n routers, I doubt AC is all that significant right now.

What good is a fast WiFi protocol when bandwidth is the bottleneck?

The best I can get piped to my house is 105 Mbps. My several year old 802.11n Airport is capable of 3x that speed.

Got any other ideas, Broadcom?

Not all of one's data transferring has to be to/from the Internet. The increased bandwidth could be noticeable for transfers between other devices on your local network.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WhackyNinja Avatar
100 months ago
It happening....

iPhone with 5G connection will be out in 2020


Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theheadguy Avatar
100 months ago
We'll see this in an iPhone in about 6 years.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2bikes Avatar
100 months ago
Pretty sure it's going to be very confused with cellular. :eek:

Reading the comments above and below, it already is!!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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