Broadcom announces 5G Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO chip for smartphones

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mwc, smartphone, soc, broadcom, mwc 2014, 2x2 mimo

Broadcom recently announced a new mobile chip designed to make 802.11ac wireless networks even faster over mobile devices. The BCM4354 system-on-a-chip supports 2x2 MIMO (multiple input / multiple output) technology, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and an FM receiver and is 25 percent more efficient than existing 1x1 MIMO chips.

In a statement on the matter, Broadcom vice president of marketing for wireless connectivity combos, Dino Bekis, said smartphones have become the epicenter of today’s digital life and consumers are demanding ever-increasing levels of performance and sophistication.

The chip will be the first implementation of 2x2 MIMO in smartphones and although Broadcom didn’t announce when we could expect to see it, I have a feeling it could be pretty soon. A quick check of the technical specifications from the just-announced Samsung Galaxy S5 reveal it just so happens to include 2x2 MIMO technology. That handset is slated to arrive sometime in April and with Broadcom already sampling these new chips, the GS5 could be the first to launch with it.

The chip is capable of speeds up to 867 Mbps with 80 MHz channels, we’re told. It also uses Transmit Beamforming (TxBF) technology which is said to improve performance in congested environments. For example, photo and video uploads to social networking sites will be twice as fast in crowded sporting events or concert venues.

One could argue that 802.11ac routers don’t have a wide reach in the market just yet but that’ll likely change over time.

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