Wi-Fi + DSL Combo Chip New from Broadcom

At the Broadband World Forum Europe 2009 in Paris last week, Broadcom Corporation announced another in its expanding lineup of combo chips. The BCM6362 is the first chip to combine Broadcom’s ADSL2+ and 802.11n Wi-Fi technologies, as well as Gigabit Ethernet switching, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT), and voice over IP (VoIP) for IADs and high-end residential gateways.

Demand for wireless gateways is expected to represent 73 percent of the ADSL market by 2013, according to Dell’Oro Group.

The new triple-threat IAD solution allows service providers to offer a single device to consumers that delivers a fast Internet connection, DECT/CAT-iq, and Wi-Fi connectivity to support voice, video, and data all-in-one, which can lower the cost of entry for consumers by saving them the cost of separate DSL modems, Wi-Fi routers, and DECT cordless base stations in order to take advantage of the triple-play services offered by providers over their home networks.

“Having a single box helps simplify the user experience. End users that have a DSL modem with no wireless LAN built in, they have to go buy a standalone home router from BestBuy, WalMart, or Target and then get the two boxes to work together, if they want wireless LAN functionality in the home,” Manny Patel, Business Development Manager for Broadcom told Wi-Fi Planet. “From a service provider standpoint, our solution does give them a different offering to attract new customers or keep existing customers for lower churn. Having Wi-Fi functionality does provide some level of stickiness. It also provides greater control of the overall pipe and the services they offer.”

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Broadcom’s combo chips integrate multiple technologies onto a single monolithic silicon die, which enables smaller and more efficient devices to be built. In addition to the convenience presented to end users by an all-in-one home networking solution, by using the new combo chip, Broadcom says modem manufacturers can also eliminate more than 200 components to streamline the design of IADs and to cut bill of material (BOM) costs in half. 

“We believe it’s the first of its kind out there. There is nothing that provides this level of integration and does it all on the single chip,” says Patel.

The BCM6362 features Broadcom’s latest 2×2 802.11n core. The WLAN subsystem includes “Accelerange” technology, which Broadcom describes as “a unique set of hardware and software enhancements that provide more reliable wireless connections to PCs and media devices that are far from the home’s broadband connection.”

The 802.11n radio supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz operation for dual-band gateways. Broadcom says it is also a low-power solution that adheres to the regulations set forth by The European Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency.

Other Broadcom combo chips include: BCM94312HMGB, which combines Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11g;  BCM943225HMB, with Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11n; and BCM943224HMB, which combines Bluetooth 3.0 and dual-band 802.11n.

Atheros this week also announced a new combo chip.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet. She has been covering technology for fifteen years.

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