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Broadcom Intros Complete Ecosystem of 802.11ax Solutions

August 24, 2017

Max WiFi is a family of connectivity solutions using the next Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax. The Max WiFi chips enable up to four times faster download speeds, six times faster upload speeds, four times better coverage, and seven times better battery life than similar Wi-Fi solutions on the market today that use 802.11ac. The chips released today are designed to kick-start an ecosystem of Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, enterprise access points, and client devices that deliver next generation Wi-Fi.

Max WiFi is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi and the most powerful standard yet, with innovations that go beyond speed. Max WiFi supports delivery of simultaneous video, voice, data and IOT services to an ever-increasing number of wireless devices. This means that steady, high-speed Wi-Fi with unprecedented quality of service is available wherever consumers want it: homes, offices and high-traffic public venues such as stadiums. Max WiFi’s unique architecture is also optimized for internet upload, making social media live-streaming and cloud storage seamless.

The demand for high performance Wi-Fi in the home is growing unabated with a typical family of four expected to have an average of 50 connected devices by 2022. At the same time, the amount of media content exchanged among mobile devices through the cloud has increased exponentially. According to Extreme Networks, an astounding 11.8 Terabytes of data was generated at this year’s Super Bowl by fans posting videos, updating status, and streaming live from the stadium. The need to support the ‘things’ that connect the home and the mobile devices that create and consume video content in the moment already strain existing Wi-Fi networks. This will be more pronounced for emerging applications such as augmented reality & virtual reality. Broadcom’s Max WiFi, with its innovative architecture, addresses these growing needs of modern consumers in their connected homes.

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

Greg Fischer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Carrier Access with Broadcom said, “Our reliance on Wi-Fi has increased tremendously as we stream live experiences over social media and upload pictures and files to the cloud while also connecting the many ‘things’ around our home. Max WiFi, based on 802.11ax, is designed from the bottom up to address these evolving consumer needs. With the launch of the Max WiFi ecosystem, Broadcom has yet again pioneered the generational transition of Wi-Fi.”

Andrew Zignani, Senior Analyst, with ABI Research added, “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. 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.”

Max WiFi implements:

•Uplink and Downlink Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, which is the fundamental building block of 802.11ax. OFDMA significantly increases efficiency and capacity of the wireless network as several devices. communicate concurrently in portions of the frequency spectrum allocated proportional to their needs. In addition, it enables fine grain quality of service for complex quadruple play applications via the implementation of sophisticated downlink and uplink scheduling.

•Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology to increase channel capacity when servicing multiple simultaneous devices.

•Target Wake Time (TWT) to orchestrate specific times when clients wake and sleep enabling mobile devices to reduce power consumption and increase battery life.

•Spatial Reuse, which allows access points to more efficiently share channel capacity by making intelligent decisions on when to transmit data.

The BCM43684 is a chip targeted for the residential Wi-Fi market while the BCM43694 is optimized for use in enterprise access points. Key features include:

•Support for 4-streams of 802.11ax

•4.8 Gbps PHY Rate

•160 MHz Channel Bandwidth

•1024 QAM Modulation

•Uplink & Downlink OFDMA

•MU-MIMO

•ZeroWait DFS

•AirIQ Interference Identification

•Full compliance to IEEE and WFA 802.11ax specifications

The BCM4375 is a smartphone combo chip. Key Features include:

•Support for 2-streams of 802.11ax

•Bluetooth 5.0+ including Low-Energy Long Range (LELR)

•Real Simultaneous Dual-Band (RSDB)

•1.429 Gbps PHY Rate

•1024 QAM Modulation

•OFDMA

•MU-MIMO

Broadcom is sampling Max WiFi solutions to its early access partners in retail, enterprise and smartphone, service provider, and carrier segments.

802.11ax has generated broad support across the consumer-electronics industry. Companies and partners across the ecosystem appreciate the importance of 802.11ax and are committed to its development, integration, and distribution.

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