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Broadcom's new mobe chip claims 650 Mbps

2x2 MIMO, simultaneous Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

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The Wi-Fi world's quest to appropriate the term 5G for itself continues apace, with Broadcom announcing an 802.11ac/Bluetooth combo chip it says will give users download speeds “up to” 650 Mbps.

The BCM4358 drops 11ac's 2x2 MIMO capabilities into smartphones, and claims “50 per cent better coexistence performance with Bluetooth”, which boils down to being able to run streams on the Wi-Fi channel while also using the Bluetooth to play a game. Still, by getting the two running simultaneously out of one chip, Broadcom lets mobe-makers cut their bill of materials by an item or three.

Shipping now and due to appear in mobiles later this quarter, the chip's performance will be important to Broadcom, which during July exited its under-performing baseband cellular phone business with layoffs of 2,500 staff.

As part of that effort, the company has started moving some operations out of Singapore, off to Ireland according to a report in The Straits Times, perhaps in pursuit of favourable tax treatment.

The BCM4358 gets its 650 Mbps – 867 Mbps physical rate less overheads – on 80 MHz radio channels, and ships with support for Android, Windows and Chrome operating systems. It supports transmit beamforming, and “Angle-of-Arrival” direction finding for smartphones.

Broadcom's canned release is here. ®

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