Feeds

Broadcom launches one-chip Wi-Fi adaptor

World first, company claims

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

WLAN chip maker Broadcom today unveiled what it claims is the world's first product to combine on a single chip all the radio and networking components traditionally spread across multiple chips.

The AirForce One BCM4317 integrates the broadband and MAC components customarily offered on one chip with the radio and power amplification units built into current WLAN adaptors on a second chip.

A single-chip solution reduces the WLAN adaptor's power consumption - by up to 97 per cent, claims Broadcom - and is smaller than a multi-chip set-up. The company's design "eliminates more than 100 discrete components and makes the one-chip module 87 per cent smaller than traditional mini-PCI Wi-Fi solutions", it says. These size and power factors should make it easier - and less expensive - to integrate Wi-Fi into much smaller, battery-powered devices, such as cellphones, digicams, MP3 players and PDAs.

Certainly, some such devices have Wi-Fi built in, or provided through add-on CompactFlash or SDIO cards. However, they tend to be at the pricier end of the market. They also hit PDA batteries hard. Broadcom believes its new chip will allow manufacturers to integrate Wi-Fi connectivity into a broader range of devices without the battery life penalty, and push the technology to more price-sensitive buyers.

The chip keeps components powered down until they're needed, particularly useful when the host device is in standby mode. Broadcom reckons its chip can add "several days" to the typical battery life of a Wi-Fi equipped PDA.

As yet, the Broadcom chips supports only 802.11b, but that's generally sufficient for most handhelds' data transfer requirements, such as multi-player gaming or PDA personal information synchronisation. It incorporates Broadcom's proprietary Xpress acceleration technology for networks comprising only compatible Broadcom-based WLAN adaptors and base-stations.

The new chip also supports Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security and features hardware support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), set to be a part of the 802.11i security standard of which WPA is a sub-set.

The AirForce One BCM4317 is shipping now to select Broadcom customers, the company said, along with "production-ready" reference systems based on the new chip. Broadcom did not say when the technology will go into volume production, or detail pricing. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.