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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Broadcom bids to dominate 802.11ax

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Broadcom aims to dominate the market for 802.11ax with three new devices covering residential and enterprise routers and smartphones.

The Max WiFi devices enable up to four times faster download speeds, six times faster upload speeds, four times better coverage, and seven times better battery life than 802.11ac. The chips are designed to kick-start an ecosystem of Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, enterprise access points, and client devices.

Max WiFi supports delivery of simultaneous video, voice, data and IoT services with an architecture that is optimised for internet upload and cloud storage. Broadcom expects a typical family of four expected to have an average of 50 connected devices by 2022, with the amount of media content exchanged among mobile devices through the cloud increasing exponentially. 

“The 802.11ax Wi-Fi protocol is significant for users as it functions in the critical 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and adds OFDMA while retaining backward compatibility with legacy protocols," said Andrew Zignani, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. "The Wi-Fi device and traffic explosion, higher density Wi-Fi deployments, growing use of outdoor Wi-Fi, and the need to support a great variety of different device types will require more efficient Wi-Fi implementations that can help to deliver richer experiences for enterprise and consumer applications that are hungry for bandwidth.”

Broadcom’s ecosystem of Max WiFi products includes BCM43684, BCM43694 and BCM4375.

The BCM43684 is a chip targeted for the residential Wi-Fi market while the BCM43694 is optimized for use in enterprise access points with support for 4 streams of 802.11ax over a 4.8 Gbps PHY and e
160 MHz Channel Bandwidth.

The BCM4375 is a smartphone combo chip that supports two 2 streams of 802.11ax with Bluetooth 5.0+ including Low-Energy Long Range (LELR) and Real Simultaneous Dual-Band (RSDB) operation. This has a 1.429 Gbps PHY Rate and uses 1024 QAM modulation with multi-user MIMO, although technical details are not yet publicly available.

Broadcom is sampling the chips to early access partners in retail, enterprise and smartphone, service provider, and carrier segments, including Asustek, Arris, D-link, Netgear and TP-link.
“Advancement in the WLAN standards are critical to keep pace with the reliable delivery of quadruple play services to an increasing number of wireless connected devices in the home," said Larry Robinson, President of ARRIS CPE Products which develops TV set top boxes and routers. "The 6th generation WLAN standard, 802.11ax, adopts many of the established technologies from cellular standard such as LTE enabling true “carrier grade” Wi-Fi. This will allow service providers to provide their subscribers a best in class wireless experience that matches the WAN speeds provided by state of the art xDSL, DOCSIS and PON technologies. ARRIS is partnering with Broadcom to bring 802.11ax technology to the latest generation of Telco and Cable operator gateways.”

“D-LINK is working aggressively with Broadcom to bring the advances of 802.11ax technology to our customers. With the 6th generation of Wi-Fi, users can expect to connect more devices with better reliability and faster speeds,” said Anny Wei, CEO of D-LINK.

www.maxwifi.org

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