Electronic Design

Broadcom Announces Single-Chip WLAN Solution

Broadcom Corp. released a new single-chip wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that allows manufacturers to build smaller, more affordable Wi-Fi products. The BroadcomBCM4312 chip integrates an 802.11 MAC, baseband processor, and a dual-band radio (2.4 and 5 GHz) onto a single silicon die. The chip has a 40 percent smaller footprint and consumes half the power of previous Broadcom solutions, delivering size, cost and power benefits for products that use the PCI Express (PCIe) or secure digital I/O (SDIO) interfaces. The chip's flexible architecture is optimized for single-band or dual-band use. It can be used to add Wi-Fi to devices like notebook PCs, broadband gateways and gaming platforms. Broadcom also released the accompanying BCM94312MCGB reference design, which integrates the new chip with Broadcom's BCM2046 Bluetooth chip onto a single PCIe mini-card. The solution — which enables PC manufacturers to cost-effectively offer two popular wireless technologies in small notebooks — uses a shared antenna system that eliminates the need for separate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas. "By pushing the boundaries of integration and power management, Broadcom is driving down the cost of existing wireless designs and facilitating new opportunities for Wi-Fi in next-generation devices," Bill Bunch, director of marketing for Broadcom's WLAN products, said in a statement.

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