Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, announced the world’s first full-featured, single-chip 802.11n solution. The newest member of the Broadcom(R) Intensi-fi(TM) product family is not only the smallest and most cost-effective 802.11n solution on the market, but is the first to enable Wi-Fi products to achieve over 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) of actual wireless throughput. By combining unprecedented wireless capacity with new features to improve range, Broadcom’s new Intensi-fi chip enables wireless networks to deliver on the promise of 802.11n — the ability to support several simultaneous multimedia applications including high-definition (HD) video streaming.
Announced is the Broadcom BCM4322, the only 802.11n solution that combines all of the elements of a wireless LAN (WLAN) subsystem onto a single silicon die. This high level of integration can reduce manufacturing costs by up to 40 percent(1), which will drive down the price of 802.11n products and increase adoption in traditional wireless devices like routers, DSL gateways, printers and notebook computers. In addition, the chip’s small footprint enables manufacturers to add 802.11n to consumer electronics products that have never included WLAN functionality before, such as televisions, set-top boxes and camcorders.
Making Wireless Video Distribution a Reality
Digital entertainment content is readily available, but moving that content from one device to another has been a challenge. For example, it is difficult to transfer home movies from a PC to a television because the products lack a simple and common connection method. The size, cost and performance of Broadcom’s new Intensi-fi chip make it possible to connect these devices, and many others, using Wi-Fi. As consumer electronics manufacturers design multimedia products with the BCM4322, consumers will soon be able to seamlessly move video and audio content throughout their home or office.
“Our new Intensi-fi chip pushes the envelope of integration to help our customers deliver cutting-edge wireless features in smaller, more affordable devices,” said Michael Hurlston, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s WLAN line of business. “It also delivers a price point that will accelerate the adoption of 802.11n technology, removing all doubt that Wi-Fi will be the backbone of the digital home network.”
The BCM4322 wireless LAN chip is the second generation of Broadcom’s popular Intensi-fi technology that complies with the IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 specification. With a unique architecture, Broadcom’s new WLAN chip offers a maximum data rate of 300 Mbps with actual throughput of over 200 Mbps — which exceeds the capabilities of existing 802.11n solutions and most wired networking products. The BCM4322 also employs innovative techniques to provide more reliable wireless connections and increase the coverage area of a wireless network. This additional performance and range will enable Wi-Fi users to quickly transfer videos, photos, music and large data files between wireless devices throughout a home or office.
“Single-chip 802.11n solutions are critical to enabling 802.11n consumer electronics devices for the home,” said Philip Solis, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Multimedia distribution in the home will benefit greatly from single-chip solutions because of their lower cost, smaller size, and reduced external component count, making them easier to design into products.”
Utilizing 65 nanometer process technology, the BCM4322 enables manufacturers to provide the richest connectivity features in small mobile devices without affecting battery life. It is less than half the size of multi-chip 802.11n solutions and consumes up to 50 percent less power. This is critical for PC manufacturers, who are transitioning to new connectivity form factors, such as the new half mini-card, for the next generation of ultra-portable notebooks.
The BCM4322 is the only 802.11n solution to combine an 802.11 medium access controller (MAC), a baseband processor, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios and other WLAN components onto a single silicon die. This high level of integration reduces the number of components required for a WLAN subsystem by two-thirds, which can lower a manufacturer’s bill of materials (BOM) cost by up to 40 percent. It is also the first 802.11n solution to be designed using 65 nanometer CMOS processes.
The 65 nanometer (nm) process is the most advanced method of manufacturing high-volume semiconductors. It provides higher levels of integration and significantly lower size and power consumption for communications devices, which sets it apart from previous 90 nm and 130 nm processes. With an extensive intellectual property portfolio, Broadcom is using 65 nm processes to integrate multiple market-leading communications technologies. Competitors with smaller or less comprehensive portfolios are not able to take full advantage of the benefits of 65 nm processes.
Availability and Pricing
The BCM4322 is sampling now, with production quantities expected to ship in the first quarter of 2008. Pricing is available upon request.
About Broadcom Wireless Solutions
As more consumers rely on wireless devices to stay connected, Broadcom is delivering the technologies that make those connections fast and reliable. With the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth(R) and combination solutions, Broadcom enables a true wireless ecosystem that provides a superior experience across local and personal area networks. This wireless ecosystem leverages Broadcom’s 802.11n technology as the backbone of the digital home and provides seamless connectivity to many types of devices built on its popular 802.11g and Bluetooth solutions.
Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art, system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything(R). Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2006 revenue of $3.67 billion, and holds over 2,200 U.S. and 900 foreign patents, more than 6,600 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video and data. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000.
Broadcom(R), the pulse logo, Connecting everything(R), the Connecting everything logo and Intensi-fi(TM) are among the trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States, certain other countries and/or the EU. Bluetooth(R) is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Wi-Fi(R) is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
(1) Based on a manufacturer’s bill of material (BOM) cost