Sunday, 03 May 2015 21:01

Broadcom delivers Wave 2 chipset for carrier and enterprise access points

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Broadcom has announced a new family of what it calls ‘5G WiFi Wave 2’ solutions for enterprise access points and says it is ‘first to deliver two radios and a CPU in a single device.’

Global wired and wireless semiconductor solutions company Broadcom says its two new high-performance chipsets ‘for high performance access points’, BCM43465 (4x4 11ac MU-MIMO) and BCM43525 (3x3 11ac MU-MIMO), enable it to become ‘the only vendor able to support 2.2Gbps and four concurrent MU-MIMO devices, enabling the highest density of client support for the enterprise market.’

The BCM43465 chipset is designed for enterprises and carriers building Wi-Fi networks and hotspots, able to transmit data to four users at the same time - or two users at a higher speed using four antennas simultaneously.

When MU-MIMO is combined with 160MHz enables devices, Broadcom say it is able to ‘fully utilise available bandwidth to deliver more than 2x the performance.’

Enhanced by NitroQAM technology, which is the company's 1024-QAM modulation scheme, this delivers ‘up to a 25 percent throughput boost over 802.11ac's 256-QAM.’

In addition, by using a powerful Digital Signal Processing (DSP) based architecture, Broadcom says it is ‘the first silicon vendor able to perform advanced spectrum capture, analysis and classification right on the chip without impacting performance.’

According to EETimes, Broadcom is a bit late to the game, behind competitors such as Qualcomm and Quantenna. It also lags companies such as Ruckus Wireless which is already using 802.11ac Wave 2 chipsets in its access points which it was first to bring to market

However, with 802.11ac really starting to ramp up, and Wave 2 bringing maturity to the 802.11ac standard, Broadcom’s chips have still come in time for next-generation modems and access points that will see strong enterprise take up.

Ed Redmond, Broadcom VP and GM of Compute and Connectivity said: “We're leaving no stone unturned in our mission to drive the transition to 802.11ac across all segments and markets. We intend to continue doing so by offering differentiated, comprehensive solutions that assure our OEMs have future-proof solutions that provide end users the quality, reliability and capacity they increasingly demand across high-density applications."

Philip Solis, ABI Research Director said: “The enterprise-class Wi-Fi access point market is poised for strong growth as the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi-compliant devices continue to gain traction worldwide. Broadcom continues to demonstrate its ability to deliver next-generation Wi-Fi solutions that address the changing market needs. With this expanded portfolio, Broadcom is well positioned to benefit from this accelerating market."

Key features of the BCM43465/43525 chipsets:

  • Support for Wave 2 features: MU-MIMO, Tx Beamforming, 256QAM, 20/40/80MHz and 160Mhz
  • Dedicated DSP-based hardware engine (AsCE) allows on-chip spectrum analysis and classification
  • Zero-Wait DFS enables enterprises to switch into and out of DFS channels without disabling AP
  • Support for more advanced features than any others on the market, including ultra-low-band (5/10 MHz)
  • BCM47452
  • Supports some advanced Wave 2 features including ultra-low band and spectrum capture
  • Integrated ARM A7 processor
  • Virtual Scanning Radio (VSR) scans Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi bands without the need to add a third radio to AP

Broadcom says its BCM43465, BCM43525 and BCM47452 chipsets ‘are now sampling.’

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