According to Broadcom, the new BCM4323 802.11n is the world’s first single-chip dual-band 802.11n solution for USB adapters. Part of Broadcom’s Intensi-fi XLR WLAN family, the BCM4323 enables very small and cost-effective USB adapters that consumers can use to connect PCs, TVs, set-top boxes, personal video recorders, and other devices to a Wi-Fi network. The new dual-band chip also features the company’s new Accelerange technology to enable transfer of HD content between devices.
According to ABI Research, annual shipments of Wi-Fi USB adapters (aka dongles) will reach 15 million by 2011. A majority of these will be dual-band 802.11n adapters as more and more consumers use the 5 GHz portion of their Wi-Fi networks for video streaming and VoIP calls.
The Broadcom BCM4323 USB solution was designed using 65 nanometer (nm) CMOS technology. It enables 20mm x 52mm USB modules that are half the size of those built with multi-chip solutions. According to Broadcom, the highly-integrated chip also offers the industry’s lowest bill of materials (BOM) cost. The BCM4323 also features an integrated ARM processor and on-chip RAM that can offload wireless functions from the host processor in consumer devices, enabling manufacturers to easily embed dual-band 802.11n capabilities directly into multimedia products, such as digital TVs, set-top boxes and DVD players.
Broadcom also released today a new line of 802.11n router chips, the BCM4716, BCM4717, and BCM4718 use two-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs), which reduces the cost of manufacturing high-end routers. Like all of Broadcom’s Wi-Fi products, the new router solutions leverage OneDriver software, whichh provides support for Linux, VxWorks, and NetBSD operating systems and is Microsoft Vista Basic/Premium certified. They also all Includee Broadcom’s new Accelerange technology for video and multimedia applications.
The BCM4716 integrates a 300MHz CPU architecture to provide the optimal balance of performance and cost for basic WLAN routers that connect to Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet networks.
The BCM4717 provides dual-band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) capabilities in a small form factor for WLAN routers, access points, set-top boxes, and digital televisions. It also integrates a 300 MHz CPU and offers options for Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet PHYs.
The BCM4718 integrates a 533MHz CPU with a high-performance memory architecture to push the limits of simultaneous dual-band performance for high-end Gigabit Ethernet routers, and features USB host ports to support media storage routers.
The BCM4716, BCM4717, and BCM4718 solutions are now sampling to early access customers with production quantities expected to 3Q08.
Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.com