I was reading this morning this news about Broadcom presenting some new wifi chips that peak over 1Gbps. This technology falls in the spectrum of the new 802.11ac wifi standard that works on the 5GHz band. Such impressive bit rates are achieved by, as expected, using a larger bandwidth – 80 MHz in the case of Broadcom’s chips -, more MIMO streams and aggressive modulations – up to 256-QAM -. In order to mitigate and reduce the bit error rate of such modulations, these next-generation Wi-Fi chips use transmit and receive beamforming, low-density parity check (LDPC) codes, and space-time block codes (STBC).

From PCMagazine:

If you thought the rollout of 4G networks was exciting, wait until you get a load of 5G. Broadcom and other companies are readying next-generation 802.11ac chips based on fifth-generation Wi-Fi technology and the hardware should be turning up in home networking systems this year, with 5G smartphones and tablets likely to follow in 2013.

The BCM4360 chip and the BCM4352 chip (a two-stream part that can hit 867 Mbps) both support PCI Express. Broadcom’s next-gen BCM43526 (a two-stream chip that also peaks at 867 Mbps) and the BCM43516 (a single-stream part that tops out at 433 Mbps) are both built for the USB interface.

All of Broadcom’s 5G chips have 80 MHz channel bandwidth, which is twice as wide as what you’ll get with current 802.11n parts. The next-generation Wi-Fi chips utilize transmit and receive beamforming, low-density parity check (LDPC) codes, and space-time block codes (STBC), the company said. Those protocols help direct content toward the intended receiving device, making 5G chips more reliable than earlier-generation hardware and extending Wi-Fi range.

The new chips are being fabricated with the 40-nanometer process. Broadcom’s 5G parts are backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi standards and the company is touting them for everything from PCs and routers to televisions and Blu-Ray players, with more 5G parts designed for mobile devices coming later.

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